Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee

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Medicare Benefits Schedule Review
Taskforce
Report from the
Gastroenterology Clinical
Committee
August 2016
Important note
The views and recommendations in this review report from the clinical committee have been
released for the purpose of seeking the views of stakeholders.
This report does not constitute the final position on these items which is subject to:
∆
Stakeholder feedback;
Then
∆
Consideration by the MBS Review Taskforce;
Then if endorsed
∆
Consideration by the Minister for Health; and
∆
Government.
Stakeholders should provide comment on the recommendations via the online consultation tool.
Confidentiality of comments:
If you want your submission to remain confidential please mark it as such. It is important to be
aware that confidential submissions may still be subject to access under freedom of information law.
Table of Contents
1.
Executive Summary ............................................................................................................ 7
Colonoscopy............................................................................................... 8
Same Day Upper and Lower GI Endoscopy................................................ 8
Capsule endoscopy .................................................................................... 9
Endoscopic upper gastrointestinal services ............................................... 9
Endoscopic upper gastrointestinal stricture services .............................. 10
Sigmoidoscopy/Colonoscopy ................................................................... 10
Endoscopic Ultrasound ............................................................................ 11
Balloon Enteroscopy ................................................................................ 11
Endoscopic Mucosal Resection ................................................................ 11
Obsolete items ......................................................................................... 11
2.
About the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review........................................................ 15
3.
About the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee ................................................................ 18
4.
MBS items relating to Gastroenterology ............................................................................ 20
5.
Priority Reviews ............................................................................................................... 22
6.
7.
Recommendation 1:
Colonoscopy services ............................................................................... 26
Recommendation 2:
Same Day Upper and Lower GI Endoscopy.............................................. 36
Items for significant amendment ...................................................................................... 37
Recommendation 3:
1. Capsule Endoscopy .............................................................................. 37
Recommendation 3:
2. Capsule Endoscopy .............................................................................. 42
Recommendation 4:
1. Endoscopic upper gastrointestinal services ......................................... 47
Recommendation 4:
2. Endoscopic upper gastrointestinal services ......................................... 48
Recommendation 5:
Endoscopic upper gastrointestinal strictures .......................................... 48
Recommendation 6:
Flexible fibreoptic sigmoidoscopy or fibreoptic colonoscopy .................. 51
Recommendation 7:
Endoscopic Ultrasound ............................................................................ 52
Items requiring further assessment ................................................................................... 55
Recommendation 8:
8.
New Items ........................................................................................................................ 58
Recommendation 9:
9.
Balloon Enteroscopy ................................................................................ 57
Endoscopic Mucosal Resection ................................................................ 58
Obsolete items ................................................................................................................. 59
Recommendation 10: 1. Obsolete items – first round ................................................................ 59
Recommendation 10: 2. Obsolete items – second round ........................................................... 60
10.
General MBS issues .......................................................................................................... 62
Generic MBS Issues identified by the Committee.......................................................................... 62
11.
References ....................................................................................................................... 63
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 3
12.
Acronyms and Abbreviations ............................................................................................ 66
13.
Glossary ........................................................................................................................... 67
Appendix A
Full list of MBS items under review....................................................................... 69
Appendix B
Summary for Consumers ...................................................................................... 78
Appendix C
Rapid Review Report on Capsule Endoscopy ......................................................... 88
Appendix D
Rapid Review Report on Push Enteroscopy ........................................................... 96
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 4
List of Tables
Table 1:
Gastroenterology Clinical Committee Members ................................................................................ 18
Table 2:
Number of MBS-funded services for colonoscopy per 100,000 people aged standardised, by local
area, state and territory, 2013-14 ............................................................................................................... 23
Table 3:
The 1-year, 5-year and 10-year growth in services. ............................................................................ 25
Table 4:
Current MBS colonoscopy items 32090 and 32093 ............................................................................ 25
Table 5:
The number of services and benefits paid over time, by financial year ............................................. 25
Table 6:
Proposed diagnostic colonoscopy services to replace item 32090, schedule fee all items $334.35 .. 28
Table 7:
Proposed therapeutic colonoscopy services to replace item 32093, Schedule fee all items $469.20 29
Table 8:
Co-claiming colonoscopy items 32090 or 32093 with oesophagoscopy item 30473 ......................... 35
Table 9:
MBS item 11820 for Capsule Endoscopy utilisation data ................................................................... 39
Table 10:
Component cost for capsule endoscopy in 2003 and 2016 ............................................................ 40
Table 11:
Current MBS descriptor for capsule endoscopy item 11820 .......................................................... 41
Table 12:
Proposed MBS descriptor for capsule endoscopy item 11820 ....................................................... 41
Table 13:
Data on repeat service (item 30473) per patient 2008-09 to 2014-15........................................... 43
Table 14:
Current MBS upper GI endoscopy items ........................................................................................ 44
Table 15:
Proposed restructure of MBS upper GI endoscopy items .............................................................. 46
Table 16:
Current endoscopic upper GI stricture items ................................................................................. 49
Table 17:
Proposed endoscopic upper GI stricture items .............................................................................. 49
Table 18:
Co-claiming of items 32090, 32093, 32084 and 32087 (5 year data) 2010-11 to 2014-15 ............ 50
Table 19:
Current MBS descriptors for sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy items 32084 & 32087 ................... 51
Table 20:
Proposed MBS descriptors for sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy items 32084 & 32087 ................ 52
Table 21:
Current Endoscopic Ultrasound items ............................................................................................ 53
Table 22:
Subsequent gastroenterology services (items 30484, 30485, 30494) performed on patients in the
month preceding Endoscopic Ultrasound items 30688 to 30696 ............................................................... 54
Table 23:
Current Balloon Enteroscopy items ................................................................................................ 55
Table 24:
First round recommendations - obsolete items ............................................................................. 60
Table 25:
Second round recommendations - obsolete items......................................................................... 61
List of Figures
Figure 1:
Number of MBS-funded colonoscopy services per 100,000 people, age standardised, by local
area, 2013-14 ............................................................................................................................................... 23
Figure 2:
Number of MBS-funded services for colonoscopy per 100,000 people, age standardised, by local
area, 2013-14 ............................................................................................................................................... 24
Figure 3:
The number of services over time, by financial year ...................................................................... 26
Figure 4:
MSAC predicted services vs actual services .................................................................................... 38
Figure 5:
Service volumes for capsule endoscopy item 11820 by state and territory per 100,000 population
........................................................................................................................................................ 39
Figure 6:
Capsule endoscopy item 11820 services by age and sex 2014-15 ................................................. 40
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 5
1.
Executive Summary
The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce (the Taskforce) is undertaking a program of
work that considers how more than 5,700 items on the MBS can be aligned with contemporary
clinical evidence and practice and improves health outcomes for patients. The Taskforce will also
seek to identify any services that may be unnecessary, outdated or potentially unsafe.
The Taskforce is committed to providing recommendations to the Minister that will allow the MBS to
deliver on each of these four key goals:
∆
Affordable and universal access
∆
Best practice health services
∆
Value for the individual patient
∆
Value for the health system.
The Taskforce has endorsed a methodology whereby the necessary clinical review of MBS items is
undertaken by Clinical Committees and Working Groups. The Taskforce has asked the Clinical
Committees to undertake the following tasks:
1. Consider whether there are MBS items that are obsolete and should be removed from the MBS.
2. Consider identified priority reviews of selected MBS services.
3. Develop a program of work to consider the balance of MBS services within its remit and items
assigned to the Committee.
4. Advise the Taskforce on relevant general MBS issues identified by the Committee in the course
of its deliberations.
The recommendations from the Clinical Committees are released for stakeholder consultation. The
Clinical Committees will consider feedback from stakeholders and then provide recommendations to
the Taskforce in a Review Report. The Taskforce will consider the Review Report from Clinical
Committees and stakeholder feedback before making recommendations to the Minister for
consideration by Government.
The Gastroenterology Clinical Committee (the Committee) was established in 2015 to undertake a
review of relevant MBS items. Phase one of this review relied upon the clinical expertise of the
members who sought advice from colleagues as necessary, as well as independent, targeted rapid
evidence reviews of certain services.
The Taskforce asked the Committee to consider colonoscopy and same day upper and lower
gastrointestinal endoscopy as priority reviews.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 7
1.1 Key Recommendations
PRIORITY REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS
Colonoscopy
The Committee reviewed the data on these items and the relevant clinical guidelines and
recommends that these services should reflect the current evidence for the use of colonoscopy,
including appropriate intervals between colonoscopies used in surveillance of patients who are at
increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. The Committee also recommends better defining the
examination of the colon to ensure that a comprehensive examination is performed.
Recommendations include:
1. Reimbursement should be aligned with approved guidelines and the algorithms agreed across
the relevant specialties for surveillance colonoscopy.
2. Items should be restructured to better describe clinical indications and surveillance intervals. A
new suite of items is recommended.
3. Current colonoscopy items require examination ‘beyond the hepatic flexure’. This should be
amended ‘to the caecum’ to emphasise the importance of a complete colonoscopy. For patients
post right hemicolectomy this examination should be to the anastomosis.
4. The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program items 32088 and 32089 be amended to align with
the examination requirements ‘to the caecum’.
5. Reference to ‘fibreoptic’ should be removed as all contemporary colonoscopes are digital.
6. Reference to ‘flexible’ should be removed as all colonoscopes are flexible.
7. Restrictions should be introduced on the co-claiming of services 32090 and 32093 on the same
day, same patient, during a single episode of sedation/anaesthesia.
8. Remove the treatment of radiation proctitis, angiodysplasia or post-polypectomy bleeding from
the polyp removal colonoscopy item and create a separate item for this service. It is also
recommended that specific reference to Argon Plasma Coagulation be removed to enable any
therapy to be used.
9. New colonoscopy items for failed preparation of the colon; for symptomatic patients; for
patients with iron deficiency anaemia; and for patients following a positive FOBT test.
Further detail is provided in Section 5.1.
Same Day Upper and Lower GI Endoscopy
The Committee noted the high level of co-claiming upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with
colonoscopy for the same patient, same provider, on the same day. The Committee considered a
number of factors that could be adding to this increase including patient preferences, medico legal
risks and a lack of guidelines on when bi-directional endoscopy is clinical appropriate.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 8
1. The Committee recommends that this issue be referred to the Gastroenterological Society of
Australia (GESA) to consider the need to develop clinical guidelines or standards for the
appropriate concurrent use of these procedures.
2. The Committee recommends against co-claiming restrictions on these items at this stage as the
major reforms recommended on colonoscopy services may alter existing service patterns for
these items.
Further detail is provided in Section 5.2.
SIGNIFICANT AMENDMENTS OF SELECTED ITEMS
Capsule endoscopy
1. The Committee recommends amending the item descriptor to better describe the service and
the patient population. The Committee recommends the descriptor specify the following
indications and preconditions:
a) Gastrointestinal bleeding that is persistent or recurrent with no cause found at endoscopy
and colonoscopy: recurrent iron deficiency anaemia not due to coeliac disease where a
duodenal biopsy (where not contra indicated) has been performed and menorrhagia if
present has been managed OR,
b) the patient has overt active gastrointestinal bleeding with no cause found at endoscopy and
colonoscopy;
c) the Committee recommends that storage requirements for Capsule Endoscopy (CE) imaging
be provided in the explanatory notes to the item.
2. The Committee considers that usage patterns of CE is not explained on clinical grounds alone
and the fee of $2,039 may be driving higher than anticipated use.
a) The Committee recommends a fee assessment by MSAC to see whether the current fee is
reflective of the current costs. This assessment may also have flow-on effects to the fee for
CE item 11823 which was modelled on the fee for CE item 11820.
Further detail is provided in Section 6.1.
Endoscopic upper gastrointestinal services
The Committee recommends simplifying and restructuring items 30473, 30476, 30478, 30479. This
restructure will not change the fee or the intent of the services and will provide one diagnostic item,
one general therapeutic item (without laser) and a stand-alone higher rebated item for laser
procedures in specified circumstances.
The Committee recommends:
1. Simplifying and restructuring items 30473, 30476, 30478, 30479 by combining items 30476 and
30478 into one general interventional item and moving Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC) from
the laser item 30479 into the more general item 30478. The recommended restructure would
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 9
2.
3.
4.
5.
not change the fee or the intent of the services and would maintain requirements that the
therapeutic items specify the available techniques and pathologies to be treated.
Maintain current co-claiming restrictions on these items (same patient, same day, same
provider) and apply similar restrictions to item 30479.
Provide the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) with the repeat service data and ask
it to consider developing suitable guidelines on when repeat services are clinically appropriate.
Repeat data to be reviewed again following proposed colonoscopy changes.
Push Enteroscopy be included in the upper GI endoscopic interventional item 30478 and services
provided under item 30487 – small bowel intubations will shift making this item obsolete.
Further detail is provided in Section 6.2.
Endoscopic upper gastrointestinal stricture services
1. The Committee recommends:
a) Items 41819 and 41820 be simplified and consolidated with item 30475. This consolidated
item will allow any endoscopic technique to be performed for oesophageal through to
gastroduodenal procedures for stricture and include imaging intensification if done. An
explanatory note will make this intention clear.
b) The proposed fee for this item is the current fee for 41819 which is higher than 30475 but
lower than 41820.
c) Item 41831 should be amended to indicate treatment for achalasia.
Further detail is provided in Section 6.3.
Sigmoidoscopy/Colonoscopy
1. The Committee recommends amending the item descriptors for these services to better define
the examination of the colon from ‘up to the hepatic flexure’ to ‘which has not reached the
caecum’. This quality measure is designed to ensure that a comprehensive examination is
performed and complements other recommended changes to the colonoscopy services. The
Committee recommends the following:
a) Amend descriptor to better define the examination of the colon from ‘up to the hepatic
flexure’ to ‘which has not reached the caecum’. For patients post right hemicolectomy this
examination will not have reached the anastomosis.
b) The specific reference to Argon Plasma Coagulation to be removed to enable any therapy to
be used.
c) Removal of ‘fibreoptic’ in the item descriptor as all sigmoid and colon scopes are digital.
d) Co-claiming restrictions are introduced on the use of these items with colonoscopy items
32090 and 32093, same patient, same day, same provider unless subsequent service has
been provided under a second episode of sedation/anaesthesia.
Further detail is provided in Section 6.4.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 10
Endoscopic Ultrasound
1. The Committee recommends that if during an Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) examination an issue
is identified which requires an ERCP related therapeutic procedure, it is clinically appropriate
that these procedures be performed on the same occasion.
a) The Committee recommends removing co-claiming restrictions on EUS items to allow items
30484, 30485 and 30494 (described in Table 22) to be payable with EUS.
Further detail is provided in Section 6.5.
ITEMS REQUIRING FURTHER ASSESSMENT
Balloon Enteroscopy
The Committee reviewed these services to determine if the current clinical indication could be
expanded to include some capacity to manage small bowel diseases without anaemia or bleeding,
specifically, but not restricted to, Crohn’s disease.
1. The Committee recommends an MSAC assessment to expand the conditions for these items to
manage small bowel diseases without anaemia or bleeding, specifically, but not restricted to,
Crohn’s disease.
Further detail is provided in Section 7.1.
NEW SERVICES
Endoscopic Mucosal Resection
The Committee considered evidence for a new service for the removal of very large polyps by
Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR). The Committee considered research evidence on the safety,
clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of this procedure and noted the widespread use in
public hospitals. The Committee noted the range of EMR complexity, time and expertise required to
perform the procedure.
1. The Committee recommends an MSAC assessment of EMR to enable consideration of public
funding for this procedure. The Committee recommends that GESA submit an application to
MSAC and request an expedited assessment for this service.
Further detail is provided in Section 8.1.
OBSOLETE ITEMS
Obsolete items
The Committee reviewed the items in its remit and associated MBS service data and identified four
MBS items as obsolete i.e. they have no clinical purpose in contemporary practice as they have been
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 11
superseded by another service or procedure, or the service identified is better covered under
another item.
1. The Committee recommended the following items be removed from the MBS and in December
2015 these were included in public consultation:
Gastric Hypothemia
∆
13500 – Gastric hypothermia in the absence of gastrointestinal haemorrhage
∆
13503 – Gastric hypothermia for upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage
Examination of the bowel – colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy
∆
32078 – Sigmoidoscopy with diathermy or resection of 1 or more polyps where the time taken
is <= 45 minutes
∆
32081 – Sigmoidoscopy with diathermy or resection of 1 or more polyps where the time taken
is > 45 minutes.
It should be noted that the items relating to flexible sigmoidoscopy, including with polypectomy,
remain in the schedule.
Public comments were considered by the Committee and in February 2016 the MBS Review
Taskforce reviewed and recommended to Government that these items (32078 and 32081) be
removed from the MBS. The Government agreed with this recommendation with an effective date
of 1 July 2016.
The Committee has identified a further two items as obsolete and recommend they be removed
from the MBS.
Examinations and procedures on bile ducts/Pancreas
∆
30493 – Biliary Manometry
Bowel Procedures
∆
30487 – Small bowel intubation with biopsy
Item 30493 was included in the public consultation in December 2015. The Committee reviewed the
comments received and sought further expert opinion on this procedure. This advice confirmed that
biliary manometry is not supported by the published literature and should be removed.
Item 30487 has been identified by the Committee as obsolete and has no clinical purpose in
contemporary practice and has been superseded by another procedure, i.e. Push Enteroscopy which
the Committee recommends be included in upper GI endoscopic interventional item 30478.
Further detail is provided in under Section 9.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 12
ITEMS NOT REQUIRING AMENDMENT
The Committee advises that 29 items do not require any amendment as these items support
clinically valuable services and no specific issues relating to their use have been identified. Items that
do not require amendment are listed in Appendix A.
GENERAL ISSUES
The Committee has identified several issues for noting which have broader application across the
MBS and should be considered by the Taskforce.
1. The Committee examined data on co-claiming of services – that is where more than one item
per patient is claimed by the same provider on the same day. The Committee notes there is
significant variation in the co-claiming of services between doctors, and that the level of coclaiming has increased in some areas.
2. The Committee is generally supportive of limiting co-claiming of consultation services on the
same day as a planned procedure e.g. colonoscopy.
3. The Committee noted the implications of including high cost consumables in the item fee for
services performed in out-of-hospital settings. The Committee noted that the MBS may not be
the best vehicle for funding high cost consumables that are integral to the service for reasons
including:
a) device and consumable costs usually reduce over time and there is no ready ability in the
MBS to adjust pricing accordingly.
b) depending on the location of the service the consumable cost may or may not be borne by
the health professional who receives the MBS benefit.
c) any other available funding sources will vary according to whether it is an in-hospital vs outof-hospital service and whether it is a private hospital or public hospital service.
4. It is the Committee’s view that the lack of funding for high cost consumables through the MBS,
private health insurance subsidies and public hospital budgets is compromising access to
services with proven clinical value. This issue is evident in item 30687, an endoscopic procedure
providing radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of Barrett’s Oesophagus. The funding of the
high cost disposable radiofrequency ablation device is not covered under the MBS item and
private health insurers will not cover the costs of the device as it is not listed on the prosthesis
list.
All items and descriptions are listed in Appendix A.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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1.2 Consumer engagement
The Committee did not have a consumer representative. The Committee recommendations have
been summarised for consumers in Appendix B. The summary describes the medical service, the
recommendation of the clinical experts and why the recommendation has been made for all major
changes and proposed new items.
Importantly however, the Committee believes it is important to find out from consumers if they will
be helped or disadvantaged by the recommendations – and how, and why. Following the public
consultation the Committee will assess the advice from consumers and decide whether any changes
are needed to the recommendations. The Committee will then send the recommendations to the
MBS Taskforce. The Taskforce will consider the recommendations as well as the information
provided by consumers in order to make sure that all the important concerns are addressed. The
Taskforce will then provide the recommendation to government.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 14
2.
About the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review
2.1 Medicare and the MBS
What is Medicare?
Medicare is Australia’s universal health scheme which enables all Australian residents (and some
overseas visitors) to have access to a wide range of health services and medicines at little or no cost.
Introduced in 1984, Medicare has three components, being free public hospital services for public
patients, subsidised drugs covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and subsidised health
professional services listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).
What is the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS)?
The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) is a listing of the health professional services subsidised by
the Australian government. There are over 5,700 MBS items which provide benefits to patients for a
comprehensive range of services including consultations, diagnostic tests and operations.
2.2 What is the MBS Review Taskforce?
The government has established a Medicare Review Taskforce to review all of the 5,700 MBS items
to ensure they are aligned with contemporary clinical evidence and practice and improve health
outcomes for patients.
What are the goals of the Taskforce?
The Taskforce is committed to providing recommendations to the Minister that will allow the MBS to
deliver on each of these four key goals:
∆
Affordable and universal access— the evidence demonstrates that the MBS supports very good
access to primary care services for most Australians, particularly in urban Australia. However,
despite increases in the specialist workforce over the last decade, access to many specialist
services remains problematic with some rural patients being particularly under-serviced.
∆
Best practice health services— one of the core objectives of the Review is to modernise the
MBS, ensuring that individual items and their descriptors are consistent with contemporary best
practice and the evidence base where possible. Although the Medical Services Advisory
Committee (MSAC) plays a crucial role in thoroughly evaluating new services, the vast majority
of existing MBS items pre-dates this process and has never been reviewed.
∆
Value for the individual patient—another core objective of the Review is to have an MBS that
supports the delivery of services that are appropriate to the patient’s needs, provide real
clinical value and do not expose the patient to unnecessary risk or expense.
∆
Value for the health system—achieving the above elements of the vision will go a long way to
achieving improved value for the health system overall. Reducing the volume of services that
provide little or no clinical benefit will enable resources to be redirected to new and existing
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 15
services that have proven benefit and are underused, particularly for patients who cannot
readily access those services currently.
2.3 Methods: The Taskforce’s approach
The Taskforce is reviewing the existing MBS items, with a primary focus on ensuring that individual
items and usage meet the definition of best practice.
Within the Taskforce’s brief there is considerable scope to review and advise on all aspects which
would contribute to a modern, transparent and responsive system. This includes not only making
recommendations about new items or services being added to the MBS, but also about an MBS
structure that could better accommodate changing health service models.
The Taskforce has made a conscious decision to be ambitious in its approach and seize this unique
opportunity to recommend changes to modernise the MBS on all levels, from the clinical detail of
individual items, to administrative rules and mechanisms, to structural, whole-of-MBS issues.
The Taskforce will also develop a mechanism for the ongoing review of the MBS once the current
Review is concluded.
As the Review is to be clinician-led, the Taskforce has decided that the detailed review of MBS items
should be done by Clinical Committees. The Committees are broad based in their membership and
members have been appointed in their individual capacity, not as representatives of any
organisation. This draft report details the work done by the specific Clinical Committee and describes
the Committee’s recommendations and their rationale.
This report does not represent the final position of the Committee. A consultation process will
inform recommendations of the Committee and assist it in finalising its report to the MBS review
Taskforce.
Following consultation, the Committee will provide its final advice to the MBS Review Taskforce. The
Taskforce will consider the Review Report from Clinical Committees and stakeholder feedback
before making recommendations to the Minister for consideration by Government.
2.4 Prioritisation process
All MBS items will be reviewed during the course of the MBS Review. However, given the breadth of
and timeframe for the Review, each Clinical Committee has needed to develop a work plan and
assign priorities keeping in mind the objectives of the Review. With a focus on improving the clinical
value of MBS services, the Clinical Committees have taken account of factors including the volume of
services, service patterns and growth and variation in the per capita use of services, to prioritise
their work.
In addition to MBS data, important resources for the Taskforce and the Clinical Committees have
included:
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 16
∆
The Choosing Wisely recommendations, both from Australian and internationally
∆
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE UK) Do Not Do recommendations and
clinical guidance
∆
Other literature on low value care, including Elshaug et al’s1 Medical Journal of Australia article
on potentially low value health services
∆
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) Australian Atlas of
Healthcare Variation.
1
Adam G Elshaug, Amber M Watt, Linda Mundy and Cameron D Willis, Over 150 potentially low-value health care
practices: an Australian study, Med J Aust 2012; 197 (10): 556-560
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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3.
About the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee
The Gastroenterology Clinical Committee (the Committee) is part of the first tranche of committees.
The Committee was established in 2015 to make recommendations to the MBS Review Taskforce on
the review of MBS items within its remit, based on rapid evidence review and clinical expertise. The
Taskforce has asked the Committee to review colonoscopy and same day upper and lower
gastrointestinal endoscopy as priority reviews.
3.1 Gastroenterology Clinical Committee members
Table 1:
Gastroenterology Clinical Committee Members
Name
Position/Organisation
Declared conflict of interest
Conjoint Professor Anne
Gastroenterologist, John Hunter Hospital
Nil
Duggan (Chair)
Newcastle; Senior Medical Advisor, Australian
Commission on Safety and Quality in Health
Care
Dr Katherine Ellard
Specialist, Mater Hospital, North Sydney;
Nil
Gastroenterologist, private practice
Mr James Keck
Clinical Director, Colorectal Surgery, Eastern
Nil
Health Melbourne; Director, Pelvic Floor
Physiology, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne;
Vice-President, Colorectal Surgical Society of
Australia and New Zealand
Professor Finlay Macrae
Professor, Department of Medicine,
Nil
Melbourne University; Head, Colorectal
Medicine and Genetics, The Royal Melbourne
Hospital; Gastroenterologist, private practice
Ms Dianne Jones
Assistant Director of Nursing, Endoscopy
Nil
Services, Logan Bayside Health Network;
President, Society of International
Gastroenterology Nurses and Endoscopy
Associates
Professor Jon Emery
Professor of General Practice, University of
Nil
Western Australia; Professor of Primary Care
Cancer Research, University of Melbourne;
Director, Primary Care Collaborative Cancer
Clinical Trials Group
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 18
Name
Position/Organisation
Declared conflict of interest
Dr Peter Radford
General Practitioner, private practice; Chair,
Nil
Endoscopy Reference Group (Conjoint
Committee of the Royal Australian College of
General Practitioners & Australian College of
Rural and Remote Medicine)
Dr Lee Gruner (ex-officio)
Immediate past President, Royal Australasian
Nil
College of Medical Administrators; Member,
MBS Review Taskforce
3.2 Conflicts of interest
All members of the Taskforce, Clinical Committees and Working Groups are asked to declare any
conflicts of interest at the start of their involvement and reminded to update their declarations
periodically.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 19
4.
MBS items relating to Gastroenterology
4.1 Areas of responsibility of the Committee
The following 53 MBS items were identified for review by the Committee.
Therapeutic and diagnostic procedures: Gastroenterology
∆
Diagnosis of Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (3 items)
–
∆
Capsule endoscopy (2 items)
–
∆
30688, 30690, 30692, 30694
Insertion of nasogastric tube (2 items)
–
∆
30680, 30682, 30684, 30686
Endoscopic ultrasound with biopsy for staging of GI cancers (4 items)
–
∆
30487, 30488
Examination of the small bowel by balloon enteroscopy (4 items)
–
∆
30484, 30485, 30491, 30492, 30493, 30494, 30495
Other procedures on the bowel (2 item)
–
∆
30481, 30482, 30483
Examinations and procedures on bile ducts/Pancreas (7 items)
–
∆
30475, 41819, 41820, 41828, 41831, 41832
Gastrostomy (3 items)
–
∆
30473, 30476, 30478, 30479, 30490, 30687
Dilatation of upper GI tract (6 items)
–
∆
13500 and 13503
Oesophagoscopy and endoscopic procedures on the Oesophagus (6 items)
–
∆
11830
Gastric Hypothermia (2 items)
–
∆
11820, 11823
Diagnosis of abnormalities of the pelvic floor (1 item)
–
∆
11800, 11801, 11810
31456, 31458
Examination of the bowel – colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy (11 items)
–
32023, 32072 – 32095
4.2 Items referred to the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee
The following items, located in the ENT section of the MBS, were referred to the Committee for
review as gastroenterologists are the main providers of these items:
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 20
Dilatation of upper GI tract
∆
41819 – Dilatation of stricture of upper gastro-intestinal tract using bougie or balloon over
endoscopically inserted guidewire, including endoscopy with flexible or rigid endoscope
∆
41820 – Dilatation of stricture of upper gastro-intestinal tract using bougie or balloon over
endoscopically inserted guidewire, including endoscopy with flexible or rigid endoscope, where
the use of imaging intensification is clinically indicated
∆
41828 – Oesophageal stricture, dilatation of, without oesophagoscopy
∆
41831 – Oesophagus, endoscopic pneumatic dilatation
∆
41832 – Oesophagus, balloon dilatation of, using interventional imaging techniques.
4.3 Items referred to other Clinical Committees for review
The following items were referred to the Diagnostic Imaging Clinical Committee as imaging
specialists are the main providers of these services.
Examinations and procedures on bile ducts
∆
30495 – Percutaneous biliary dilatation for biliary stricture
Bowel Procedures
∆
30488 – Small bowel intubation (Anaes)
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 21
5.
Priority Reviews
5.1 Colonoscopy services (items 32090 and 32093)
Issue
The Committee reviewed MBS colonoscopy services items 32090 and 32093 and noted that the
demand for MBS funded colonoscopy has increased by 28 per cent between 2009-10 and 2014-15.
This growth rate exceeds population growth (8 per cent)2 and total public and private hospital
separations (18 per cent)3 over the same period.
The Committee also noted the very different patterns of servicing across the country and between
practitioners, and while there are significant waiting lists, and probably inadequate access to
services in some areas, there appears to be relatively high rates of colonoscopy services in certain
parts of the country. The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC)
found in 2013-14 the national rate of colonoscopy services funded through the MBS were 2,355 per
100,000 people. The number of services across more than 320 local areas ranged from 146 to 4,374
per 100,000 people, the highest rate being 30 times the lowest rate. Service numbers across States
also varied, from 902 per 100,000 people in the Northern Territory, to 2,688 in Queensland4.
For most services, variation in per capita use correlates with patient socioeconomic status (SES). This
is true for colonoscopy with the highest rates being in eastern Sydney and the lowest in the
Northern Territory. However, the data shows that there is considerable variation in per capita use
between areas of similar SES. For instance as the following map (Figure 1) shows, people who reside
in northern Sydney have much lower use than those who live in eastern Sydney – a difference which
is not readily explained by patient demographic factors.
2
3
4
http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/[email protected]/DetailsPage/3101.0Dec%202015?OpenDocument
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129550483
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare, Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2015
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 22
Source: Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2015.
Figure 1:
Number of MBS-funded colonoscopy services per 100,000 people, age standardised, by local
area, 2013-14
Table 2:
Number of MBS-funded services for colonoscopy per 100,000 people aged standardised, by local
area, state and territory, 2013-14
Services
NSW
VIC
QLD
SA
WA
TAS
NT
ACT
Highest rate
4,374
3,624
3,746
3,266
3,405
2,887
2,073
2,919
State/territory
2,279
2,469
2,688
2,219
1,981
2,107
902
2,178
Lowest rate
971
976
972
661
213
989
146
1,785
No. services
185,985
153,168
132,657
43,432
51,366
13,042
1,845
8,232
Source: Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2015.
Table 2 shows that in 2013–14, there were 589,748 MBS-funded services for colonoscopy,
representing 2,355 services per 100,000 people (the Australian rate). The average number of
services varied significantly across states and territories, from 902 per 100,000 people in the
Northern Territory, to 2,688 in Queensland.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 23
Figure 2:
Number of MBS-funded services for colonoscopy per 100,000 people, age standardised, by local
area, 2013-14
MBS item 32090 services have grown 51 per cent when compared to 2004–05. Additionally, MBS
item 32093 services have grown 177 per cent when compared to 2004–05 service levels. This
equates to a compound annual growth rate of 4.2 per cent for item 32090 and 10.7 per cent for item
32093 over the 10 years.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Table 3:
The 1-year, 5-year and 10-year growth in services.
Growth period
Colonoscopy item 32090
1 Year Growth, 2013-12 to 2014-15
Colonoscopy item 32093
0.1%
10%
5 Year Growth, 2009-10 to 2014-15
12%
58%
10 Year Growth, 2004-05 to 2014-15
51%
177%
Source: Calculated from publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
Table 4:
Current MBS colonoscopy items 32090 and 32093
Item
Item Descriptor
Schedule
Fee
Services Service change
2014-15 2011–12 to
2014–15 (%)
32090
FIBREOPTIC COLONOSCOPY examination of the colon
$334.35
335,488 3%
beyond the hepatic flexure WITH OR WITHOUT BIOPSY
(Anaes.)
32093
Endoscopic examination of the colon beyond the hepatic $469.20
255,606 29%
flexure by FIBREOPTIC COLONOSCOPY for the REMOVAL
OF 1 OR MORE POLYPS, or the treatment of radiation
proctitis, angiodysplasia or post-polypectomy bleeding by
ARGON PLASMA COAGULATION, 1 or more of (Anaes.)
Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
Table 5:
The number of services and benefits paid over time, by financial year
Financial years
Colonoscopy item
32090
Benefits Paid $
Colonoscopy item
32093
2003-04
214,145
44,467,250
83,763
24,451,802
2004-05
222,428
47,284,925
92,288
27,584,479
2005-06
236,358
51,311,612
103,930
31,738,078
2006-07
250,968
55,598,206
119,797
37,344,055
2007-08
272,721
61,718,765
135,991
43,303,900
2008-09
284,755
65,958,710
146,870
47,846,030
2009-10
300,365
71,203,293
162,010
54,022,879
2010-11
313,787
75,892,935
183,744
62,535,941
2011-12
325,491
80,349,282
198,011
68,874,749
2012-13
328,667
82,842,838
211,928
75,266,904
2013-14
335,063
85,098,917
233,145
83,426,047
2014-15
335,488
85,072,891
255,606
91,346,459
Benefits Paid $
Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website) date of processing
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 25
Figure 3 shows the use of colonoscopy items 32090 and 32093 has increased gradually over time,
with the rate of growth greater for 32093 (with polyp removal) than for item 32090.
Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
Figure 3:
The number of services over time, by financial year
Rationale
Following a review of the MBS data and an analysis of the evidence from the ACSQHC Atlas of
Healthcare Variation, the Committee found that there is marked variation in per capita use of
colonoscopy that cannot be explained by clinical or patient demographic factors. The Committee
found that rates of colonoscopy were markedly higher in and around capital cities and were lower in
remote areas. The Committee noted that lower rates in rural and remote areas may also be the
result of workforce shortages.
The Committee is concerned that asymptomatic low risk patients are undergoing low value
colonoscopy services for bowel cancer screening and/or too frequent screening for a range of
gastrointestinal disorders. The Committee notes that low value testing may be compromising access
to services for patients who require clinically necessary colonoscopy services. The Committee notes
too that there are contemporary Australian clinical practice guidelines that have been endorsed by
the relevant specialist Colleges and Societies that provide clear advice about the appropriate use of
colonoscopy in colorectal cancer screening and gastrointestinal disorders.
Recommendation 1: Colonoscopy services
The Committee recommends that a new suite of items be introduced that align the services with
Australian clinical practice guidelines and endorsed algorithms; and better describe the indications
for initial colonoscopy (both for symptomatic and asymptomatic patients); and prescribe testing
intervals for diagnostic services related to pathology found at previous colonoscopy. The Committee
recommends that timing of colonoscopy following polypectomy should conform to the
recommended surveillance intervals set out in the endorsed algorithms, taking into account
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 26
individualised risk assessment. In the absence of reliable clinical history, clinicians should use their
best clinical judgement to determine the interval between testing and the item that best suits the
condition of the patient.
The Committee recommends the introduction of new colonoscopy items for a failed preparation of
the colon; for symptomatic patients; for patients with iron deficiency anaemia; and for patient
following a positive FOBT test.
The Committee also recommends removing the treatment of radiation proctitis, angiodysplasia or
post-polypectomy bleeding from the polyp removal colonoscopy items and create a separate item
for this service. It is further recommended that Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC) be removed to
allow other therapy to be used.
The Committee recommends better defining the examination of the colon in the item descriptor to
ensure that a comprehensive examination is performed; and placing restrictions on the co-claiming
of colonoscopy items (same patient, same provider, same day) unless the subsequent service has
been provided under a second episode of sedation/anaesthesia.
The Committee acknowledges that recommendations made in this report will not in themselves
increase availability of colonoscopy services in areas that are underserviced due to workforce
shortage. The Committee’s aim is to provide recommendations that align MBS funding for
colonoscopy with evidence and accepted best practice.
The recommendations include:
1. Reimbursement should be aligned with approved guidelines and the endorsed algorithms
agreed across the relevant specialties for surveillance colonoscopy
–
NHMRC Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention, Early Detection and Management
of Colorectal Cancer
–
NHMRC Clinical Practice Guidelines for Surveillance Colonoscopy – in adenoma followup; following curative resection of colorectal cancer; and for cancer surveillance in
inflammatory bowel disease
–
NHMRC Guidelines for the Prevention, Early Detection and Management of Colorectal
Cancer: A Guide for General Practitioners
–
Algorithm Colonoscopic Surveillance Intervals – Adenomas. 2013,
–
Algorithm Colonoscopic Surveillance Intervals – Following Surgery for Colorectal Cancer.
2013
–
Algorithm Colorectal Cancer Screening – Family History. 2013, and
–
Algorithm Colonoscopic Surveillance Intervals – Inflammatory Bowel Disease. 2013
For more information see the colorectal cancer pages on the Cancer Council Australia website.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Items should be restructured and increased to better describe clinical indications and surveillance
intervals
2. Current colonoscopy items require examination ‘beyond the hepatic flexure’. This should be
amended ‘to the caecum’ to emphasise the importance of a complete colonoscopy, noting that
this requirement is not possible for small number of patients without a caecum. For patients
post right hemicolectomy this examination should be to the anastomosis.
3. The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program items 32088 and 32089 should be amended to
align with the examination requirements ‘to the caecum’.
4. Reference to ‘fibreoptic’ should be removed as all colonoscopes are digital.
5. Reference to ‘flexible’ should be removed as all contemporary colonoscopes are flexible.
6. Restrictions on co-claiming colonoscopy services should be introduced for same day, same
patient, same provider, during a single episode of sedation/anaesthesia.
7. Remove the treatment of radiation proctitis, angiodysplasia or post-polypectomy bleeding from
the polyp removal colonoscopy items and create a separate item for this service. It is also
recommended that specific reference to APC be removed to enable any therapy to be used.
8. New colonoscopy items for failed preparation of the colon; for symptomatic patients; for
patients with iron deficiency anaemia; and for patients following a positive FOBT test.
Specific item recommendations
The Committee recommends the following new MBS items for colonoscopy services.
Table 6:
Proposed diagnostic colonoscopy services to replace item 32090, schedule fee all items $334.35
Item
Item Descriptor
A1
∆
∆
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY with or without biopsy
For patient following a positive faecal occult blood test, not in association with items 32088,
32089 for National Bowel Cancer Screening Program participants
Payable not more than once every 2 years
∆
A2
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY with or without biopsy
i
For symptomatic patient or
ii
patient with iron deficiency anaemia
A3
∆
∆
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY with or without biopsy
For failed preparation of the colon
A4
∆
∆
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY with or without biopsy
For patient following surgery for colorectal cancer
A5
∆
∆
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY with or without biopsy
For patient with MODERATE risk of colorectal cancer due to family history of colorectal cancer
(1 first degree relative < 55yrs at diagnosis OR 2 first degree relatives OR 1 first degree relative
and 1 second degree relative on the same side of the family, any age at diagnosis)
Payable not more than once every 5 years
∆
A6
A7
∆
∆
∆
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY with or without biopsy
For patient with HIGH risk of colorectal cancer due to known or suspected familial condition
including FAP or Lynch Syndrome
Payable not more than once every 12 months
∆
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY with or without biopsy
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Item
A8
Item Descriptor
i
For patient with previous history of 1-2 adenomas AND all <10mm, no villous features, no
high grade dysplasia; OR
ii
For patient with inflammatory bowel disease, Group 3 (ulcerative colitis without high risk
features when two previous colonoscopies are macroscopically inactive and histologically
negative for dysplasia)
∆
Payable not more than once every 5 years
∆
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY with or without biopsy
i
For patient with previous history of 3-4 adenomas, sessile serrated OR any adenoma
>10mm, villous features, high grade dysplasia; OR
ii
For patient with inflammatory bowel disease, Group 2 (quiescent ulcerative colitis without
high risk features)
∆
A9
A10
Payable not more than once every 3 years
∆
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY with or without biopsy
i
For patient with previous history of 5-9 adenomas; OR
ii
For patient with inflammatory bowel disease, Group 1 (any high risk feature including:

Chronically active ulcerative colitis

Primary sclerosing cholangitis

Colorectal cancer in first degree relative at <50y age

Stricture, multiple inflammatory polyps or shortened colon

Previous dysplasia)
∆
Payable not more than once every 12 months
∆
∆
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY with or without biopsy
For patient with previous history of >10 adenomas or incomplete excision of large or sessile
adenoma
Payable not more than 4 times per year
∆
Table 7:
Proposed therapeutic colonoscopy services to replace item 32093, Schedule fee all items $469.20
Item
Item Descriptor
B1
Endoscopic examination of the colon by COLONOSCOPY for the treatment of radiation proctitis,
angiodysplasia or post-polypectomy bleeding, 1 or more of,
B2
∆
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY for the REMOVAL OF 1
OR MORE POLYPS,
For patient following a positive faecal occult blood test, not in association with items 32088,
32089 for National Bowel Cancer Screening Program participants
Payable no more than once every 2 years
∆
∆
B3
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY for the REMOVAL OF 1 OR
MORE POLYPS,
B4
∆
∆
B5
∆
∆
i
For symptomatic patient or
ii
patient with iron deficiency anaemia
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY for the REMOVAL OF 1
OR MORE POLYPS,
For patient following surgery for colorectal cancer
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY for the REMOVAL OF 1
OR MORE POLYPS,
For patient with MODERATE risk of colorectal cancer due to family history of colorectal cancer
(1 first degree relative <55yrs at diagnosis OR 2 first degree relatives OR 1 first degree relative
and 1 second degree relative on the same side of the family, any age at diagnosis)
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Item
Item Descriptor
B6
∆
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY for the REMOVAL OF 1
OR MORE POLYPS,
For patient with a HIGH risk of colorectal cancer due to known or suspected familial condition
including FAP or Lynch Syndrome
∆
B7
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY for the REMOVAL OF 1 OR
MORE POLYPS or LESIONS,
B8
i
For patient with previous history of 1-2 adenomas AND all <10mm, no villous features, no
high grade dysplasia; OR
ii
For patient with inflammatory bowel disease, Group 3 (ulcerative colitis without high risk
features when two previous colonoscopies are macroscopically inactive and histologically
negative for dysplasia)
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY for the REMOVAL OF 1 OR
MORE POLYPS or LESIONS
B9
i
For patient with previous history of 3-4 adenomas or any adenoma >10mm, villous
features, high grade dysplasia; sessile serrated OR
ii
For patient with inflammatory bowel disease, Group 2 (quiescent ulcerative colitis without
high risk features)
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY for the REMOVAL OF 1 OR
MORE POLYPS or LESIONS
B10
∆
∆
i
For patient with previous history of 5-9 adenomas, OR
ii
For patient with inflammatory bowel disease, Group 1 (any high risk feature including:

Chronically active ulcerative colitis

Primary sclerosing cholangitis

Colorectal cancer in first degree relative at <50y age

Stricture, multiple inflammatory polyps or shortened colon

Previous dysplasia)
Endoscopic examination of the colon to the caecum by COLONOSCOPY for the REMOVAL OF 1
OR MORE POLYPS,
For patient with previous history of >10 adenomas, or incomplete excision of large or sessile
adenoma
Proposed Explanatory Note – Colonoscopy items
MBS items for colonoscopy have been revised to align MBS reimbursement with existing National
Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) clinical practice guidelines for the prevention, early
detection and management of colorectal cancer and for surveillance colonoscopy:
∆
NHMRC Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention, Early Detection and Management of
Colorectal Cancer, 2005
∆
NHMRC Clinical Practice Guidelines for Surveillance Colonoscopy – in adenoma follow-up;
following curative resection of colorectal cancer; and for cancer surveillance in inflammatory
bowel disease, 2012
∆
NHMRC Guidelines for the Prevention, Early Detection and Management of Colorectal Cancer: A
Guide for General Practitioners, 2000.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 30
These national guidelines do not support the use of colonoscopy for patients at average or slightly
above average risk of colorectal cancer who do not have symptoms or a positive FOBT.
The Cancer Council of Australia, the Gastroenterological Society of Australia and the Colorectal
Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand have endorsed the following algorithms designed to
be used in conjunction with the NHMRC approved guidelines:
∆
Colonoscopic Surveillance Intervals – Adenomas. 2013,
∆
Colonoscopic Surveillance Intervals – Following Surgery for Colorectal Cancer. 2013
∆
Colorectal Cancer Screening – Family History. 2013, and
∆
Colonoscopic Surveillance Intervals – Inflammatory Bowel Disease. 2013
For more information see the colorectal cancer pages on the Cancer Council Australia website
Timing of colonoscopy following polypectomy should conform to the recommended surveillance
intervals set out in the endorsed algorithms, taking into account individualised risk assessment. In
the absence of reliable clinical history, clinicians should use their best clinical judgement to
determine the interval between testing and the item that best suits the condition of the patient.
Definition of previous history
For items A7 to A10 and B7 to B10 the most appropriate item to be billed is determined by the
previous history of the patient. The previous history for the purpose of these items is defined by
number, size and type of adenomas removed during the most recent prior colonoscopy.
Diagnostic colonoscopy Items A1 to A10
Diagnostic colonoscopy items A1, A5 to A10 have mandated intervals for repeat surveillance testing
as clinically recommended in the approved guidelines and algorithms. These services are payable
under Medicare only when provided in accordance with the approved intervals.
For item A7 to A10 the patient’s previous history is used to determine the appropriate item to bill. In
the absence of reliable patient history or evidence the practitioner should be guided by their best
clinical judgement (see examples below).
Therapeutic colonoscopy Items B1 to B10
Therapeutic colonoscopy items B5 to B10 do not have mandated intervals for repeat surveillance
testing. However, services should conform to the recommended surveillance intervals set out in the
endorsed algorithms, taking into account individualised risk assessment. Service patterns by
individual practitioners may be subject to audit and peer review assessment.
How to use the items with new patients who have undergone previous colonoscopy
Patients whose care continues within one practice should have a certain history available to guide
decision making regarding surveillance intervals. For new patients, practitioners should make
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 31
reasonable efforts to establish a patient’s previous colonoscopy history. Once these items are
established, the patients’ MBS claims history for those patients who do not require polypectomy will
assist with this. The following case examples are provided to guide practitioners in the appropriate
use of these new items.
Example 1 – New patient
A new patient is referred with advice that they had 2 polyps removed at their last colonoscopy but
the pathology results and size is unknown. The practitioner may decide that A7 is the most
appropriate item to bill. This means that 1) no polyps were removed at this colonoscopy and 2) the
patient can be recalled for a repeat colonoscopy in 5 years. Alternatively the lack of certain history,
particularly around the type of polyp removed, may lead the clinician to believe that a shorter
interval is appropriate and hence an item that corresponds with a higher risk category could be
chosen, for instance item A8. This establishes the patient’s Medicare claims history and is available
for other practitioners if the patient moves. If in the future the patient has polyps removed which
are adenomas then this will establish a new and possibly different previous history which may place
the patient in a different risk category and item range.
Example 2 – New patient
For the same scenario as above, but where polyps are removed during the current colonoscopy, the
practitioner would choose the B item that mirrors A7 (ie B7), as the assessment of patient history is
the same. However advice to the patient about the appropriate interval for further colonoscopy will
depend on the number, size and type of adenomas removed at this colonoscopy. This judgement will
usually rely on the outcome of pathology testing and hence will not be available at the time of
colonoscopy.
For audit purposes it is important to record the most appropriate item. In accordance with good
practice, clinicians are required to maintain records that include pathology results which can be
made available to the patient or other practitioners as required.
Hierarchy of items
Patients may fit several categories and the most appropriate fit is a matter for clinician judgement
with the highest risk indicating what subsequent colonoscopy intervals are appropriate. The
examples provided below show that the result of the histopathology will not lengthen the
surveillance intervals (in the case of patient with FAP or Lynch) and may actually shorten the
surveillance intervals (in the case of patient with FDR or SDR with CRC).
Example 1
A patient at high risk of CRC with FAP or Lynch Syndrome has a number of polyps removed at a
surveillance colonoscopy. Item B6 is the appropriate item to bill. If the histology result returns 1-2
adenomas for patients at low to moderate risk then the next surveillance colonoscopy is
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 32
recommended in 5 years. However, the patient’s familial condition means that a shorter interval (12
months) is recommended and payable.
Example 2
A patient at moderate risk with a first or second degree family history of CRC has a number of polyps
removed at a surveillance colonoscopy. Item B5 is the appropriate item to bill based on the patient’s
family history. If the histology result returns 3-4 adenomas then the next surveillance colonoscopy is
recommended in 3 years instead of 5 years.
General guidance
“To the caecum” requirements for colonoscopy examinations do not apply to patients who have no
caecum following right hemi colectomy. For these patients the examination should be to the
anastomosis.
Surveillance colonoscopy should be planned based on high-quality endoscopy in a well-prepared
colon using most recent and previous procedure information when histology is known. Many
patients > 80 years have little to gain from surveillance of adenomas given a 10-20 year lead-time for
the progression of adenoma to cancer. The finding of serrated lesions may alter management. Small,
pale, distal hyperplastic polyps only do not require follow-up.
General practitioners should ensure colonoscopy referral practices align with applicable NHMRC
guidelines and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ guidelines for preventive
activities in general practice (the red book). In addition, general practitioners are urged to
recommend biennial faecal occult blood test (FOBT) screening to age-appropriate patients. The
National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (the Program) will be fully rolled out in Australia by 2020
by which time all 50-74 year old Australian residents will be invited to participate in biennial FOBT
screening through the Program.
Failed preparation of the colon (item A3)
Item A3 is to be billed where a colonoscopy is unsatisfactory due to a failed preparation of the colon.
Under these circumstances a second complete colonoscopy is payable. For example, a patient may
be referred for a colonoscopy due to a positive FOBT test. The first colonoscopy examination has
failed due to a poorly prepared colon. Item A3 is payable. The second colonoscopy examination is
performed satisfactorily. Item A1 is payable.
It should be noted these services cannot be billed together for the same patient, same provider, on
the same day during a single episode of sedation/anaesthesia.
Co-claiming restrictions
Colonoscopy services in the item range A1 to A10 and B2 to B10 cannot be billed together for the
same patient, same provider, on the same day during a single episode of sedation/anaesthesia.
Colonoscopy services in this item range cannot be billed with Sigmoidoscopy services in the item
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 33
range 32081 – 32084 for the same patient, same provider, on the same day during a single episode
of sedation/anaesthesia.
Patient eligibility for colonoscopy services
The new structure of the colonoscopy items reflect the current evidence for the use of colonoscopy,
including appropriate intervals between colonoscopies used in surveillance of patients who are at
increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Patients seeking Medicare rebates for colonoscopy services A1, A5 to A10 and B2 will need to ensure
that they are eligible for the service prior to proceeding with the procedure. MBS patient benefits
for these services are aligned with approved guidelines and algorithms on the appropriate screening
and interval surveillance for colonoscopy.
For further information visit the Cancer Council Australia website.
The Department of Human Services will be able to confirm whether a colonoscopy service has been
claimed by an individual patient and the date of service. It will also be able to confirm any restriction
on the frequency of the item claimed which would prevent a rebate from being paid if the service
was provided again within the restricted period. Patients can seek clarification from the Department
of Human Services by calling 132 011.
Patients can also access their own claiming history with a My Health Record or by establishing a
Medicare online account through myGov or the Express Plus Medicare mobile app.
Further information about these services can be found on the Department of Human Services
website.
Practitioners providing colonoscopy services can call Medicare on 132 150 to check the patient’s
claiming history. The patient’s Medicare card number will be required together with the range of
item numbers to be checked. For example, the new item numbers for colonoscopy services are in
the range A1 to A10 and B2 to B10. The operator will interrogate the patient’s claiming history and
provide advice on any claims paid for a colonoscopy service within the range of items specified and
the date of the service.
Alternatively, the Health Professionals Online System (HPOS) is a fast and secure way for health
professionals and administrators to check if a patient is eligible for a Medicare benefit for a specific
item on the date of the proposed service. However, this system will only return advice that the
service is payable or not payable. It will not return full advice on when the last service was provided
or when the patient will become eligible for the service again. For example, if the service has a 3
year restriction and the last service was in June 2014, the advice will be that the item is not payable
for a service date in 2016. It will not advise that the last service was provided in June 2014.
Further information about this service can be found on the Department of Human Services website.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 34
All patients who require a colonoscopy will be eligible for a service. However, MBS rebates will not
be payable for services which do not meet the clinical indications and the item requirements for a
colonoscopy or a repeat colonoscopy where the interval is specified in the item. Practitioners should
ensure that their practice conforms to the approved clinical guidelines.
Recommendation Impact Statement
The recommendation to introduce a new suite of items will align these services with Australian
clinical practice guidelines to ensure patients receive appropriate and best practice clinical care.
Changes to better define the examination of the colon will also ensure a comprehensive colonoscopy
is performed. Providers will also have clearer guidance on the service that best suits the patient’s
condition and when these items can be claimed.
5.2 Same Day Upper and Lower GI Endoscopy
Issue
The Committee reviewed the MBS service data for upper gastrointestinal endoscopic diagnostic
service (item 30473) and lower gastrointestinal endoscopic services (items 32090 and 32093) being
performed together for the same patient, same provider, on the same day. The Committee noted
the service growth in this area as indicated in Table 8. In 2014-15 the percentage of colonoscopy
item 32090 claimed with upper gastrointestinal endoscopy item 30473 was more than half at 60.5%
of total services.
Table 8:
Co-claiming colonoscopy items 32090 or 32093 with oesophagoscopy item 30473
Item
2010-11
2011-12
2012-13
2013-14
2014-15
Colonoscopy item 32090 co-claimed with
48.8%
53.1%
55.5%
58.7%
60.5%
39.1%
42.2%
44.7%
46.5%
47.1%
oesophagoscopy item 30473 - as a percentage
Colonoscopy item (polyp removal) item 32093
co-claimed with oesophagoscopy item 30473 as a percentage
Source: Department of Health (unpublished data, date of service)
Rationale
Based on expert clinical opinion and analysis of the MBS data, the Committee noted that the
frequency of same day co-claiming of these services is higher than anticipated. The Committee
noted that investigation of iron deficiency patients or patients with upper and lower gastrointestinal
symptoms is an appropriate and common reason to undergo both procedures under the one
sedation/anaesthesia, however this may not in itself account for the observed rate of co-claiming.
The Committee considered that factors such as patient preferences, perceived medico legal risks and
the lack of appropriate clinical guidelines may be contributing to the increasing rates of co-claiming
for these items. The Committee noted that there are no clinical practice guidelines, nor explicit local
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 35
practice standards that cover when bi-directional endoscopy is clinically appropriate. The Committee
agreed that the Gastroenterological Society of Australia be provided with the data and asked to
consider the need for guidelines or standards for the appropriate concurrent use of these
procedures.
The Committee considered co-claiming restrictions on these items but agreed that the major
reforms recommended for the colonoscopy services may alter the existing service patterns for these
items.
Recommendation 2: Same Day Upper and Lower GI Endoscopy
1. The Committee recommends that this issue be referred to the Gastroenterological Society of
Australia to consider the need to develop clinical guidelines or standards for the appropriate
concurrent use of these procedures.
2. The Committee recommends against co-claiming restrictions on these items at this stage as the
major reforms recommended for the colonoscopy services may alter the existing service
patterns for these items.
Recommendation Impact Statement
No changes have been recommended to these items.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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6.
Items for significant amendment
6.1 Capsule endoscopy (CE) to investigate episode of obscure gastrointestinal
bleeding (item 11820)
Issues
The Committee reviewed CE and associated service data and noted the differences between the
MSAC predicted services and the actual service volumes (currently ~2.5 times greater than
anticipated) and that the number of services has doubled over the past 10 years. The Committee
also noted the significant variation in service volumes between and within state and territories. MBS
benefits paid in 2014-15 was just over $23m for 12,156 services.
Rationale
The Committee found that the utilisation of capsule endoscopy is higher than anticipated and that
the cause of this relates to clinical and pricing factors. Issues related to the MBS fee for these items
are discussed below (Recommendation 3.2).
The Committee is concerned that the use of this service may go beyond the item requirements. The
Committee agreed that the current item requirements could be enhanced to address any
uncertainty about appropriate use. In particular, it should be made clear that iron deficiency (rather
than any) anaemia may be an indication of blood loss for CE. In addition, the Committee notes that
the service is commonly used in women aged 35 to 55 years, where menorrhagia would be the most
common reason for iron deficiency anaemia and this should be considered as the possible cause of
anaemia prior to performing CE.
The Committee also considered the pre-requisite procedural requirements specified in this service,
namely an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and a colonoscopy having been performed and not
identifying the cause of the bleeding. The Committee agreed that in general a duodenal biopsy
should also be performed to exclude coeliac disease as the cause of the iron deficiency anaemia. The
Committee acknowledged that this may be clinically unsafe for some patients such as those on anticoagulants or anti-platelet drugs so the descriptor should specify a warning regarding contra
indications.
The Committee also noted that storage requirements for CE imaging is not specified in the
explanatory notes. The Committee considers that storage requirements for CE imaging should be
provided in the explanatory notes.
Recommendation 3: 1. Capsule Endoscopy
1. The Committee recommends the item descriptor be amended to better describe the service and
the prescribed patient population. The Committee recommends the item descriptor specify the
following indications and preconditions:
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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a) Gastrointestinal bleeding that is persistent or recurrent with no cause found at endoscopy
and colonoscopy; iron deficiency anaemia not due to coeliac disease where a duodenal
biopsy (where not contra indicated) has been performed and menorrhagia if present has
been considered and managed; OR
b) The patient has overt active gastrointestinal bleeding with no cause found at endoscopy and
colonoscopy
c) The Committee recommends that storage requirements for CE imaging be provided in the
explanatory notes to the item.
The proposed item descriptor for item 11820 is set out in Table 12.
Recommendation Impact Statement
The recommendation to amend the item’s descriptor will better define the clinical conditions and
indications to ensure the right patient group receives this service.
14,000
Services/patient episodes
12,000
Predicted services
11820 (services)
Estimated OGIB Hospital separations*
10,000
8,000
6,000
4,000
2,000
0
Financial year
Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
Based on Department of Finance approved costings. *estimated OGIB hospital separations derived from AIHW hospital
separation data described on p.4 MSAC application 1057.
Figure 4:
MSAC predicted services vs actual services
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Table 9:
MBS item 11820 for Capsule Endoscopy utilisation data
Year
Number of services
MBS benefits paid
% Growth
0
2003/04
134
$212,451
2004/05
2,556
$4,129,917
1844%
2005/06
3,613
$5,918,034
43%
2006/07
4,957
$8,276,094
40%
2007/08
6,240
$10,692,169
29%
2008/09
7,341
$12,929,036
21%
2009/10
8,165
$14,729,383
14%
2010/11
8,485
$15,616,801
6%
2011/12
8,950
$16,735,411
7%
2012/13
9,597
$18,328,540
10%
2013/14
10,746
$20,654,000
13%
2014/15
12,156
$23,331,903
13%
Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
Table 9 shows basic utilisation data for item 11820 between 2003–04 and 2014–15, indicating a
significant growth in service provision.
11820 - services per 100,000 population
80
services per 100,000 people
70
VIC
60
TAS
50
NSW
40
QLD
NT
30
ACT
20
SA
10
WA
0
2010/2011
2011/2012
2012/2013
2013/2014
2014/2015
Source: Calculated from publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
Figure 5:
Service volumes for capsule endoscopy item 11820 by state and territory per 100,000 population
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
Figure 6:
Capsule endoscopy item 11820 services by age and sex 2014-15
Table 10:
Component cost for capsule endoscopy in 2003 and 2016
Component type
MSAC 2003
component cost
Proportion of total
cost
2016 component
cost*
Capital costs
$282.28
17%
$339.68
Professional fee
$517.35
31%
$622.54
Cost of capsule
$895.00
52%
$1,076.98
$1,694.63
100%
$2,039.20
MBS Fee
*2016 component cost is calculated by applying the 2003 proportions to the 2016 MBS fee (note: proportions have been
rounded to the nearest 1%).
The professional fee component was calculated by MSAC using ‘equivalent’ MBS services with a time
and complexity similar to that of CE. The MBS fee for the following services was added together to
determine the professional fee component ($517.35 in 2003):
∆
30476 – Oesophagoscopy, Gastroscopy, Duodenoscopy, Panendoscopy ($204.10);
∆
32090 – Fibreoptic colonoscopy ($277.80); and
∆
105 – Subsequent specialist attendance ($35.65).
The MBS fee for CE also includes the cost of a consultation (item 105). The current out-of-hospital
rebate for CE is $1,959.70 (90% of services are provided out of hospital).
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Table 11:
Current MBS descriptor for capsule endoscopy item 11820
Item
Item Descriptor
Schedule Services
Fee
2014-15
11820
Capsule endoscopy to investigate an episode of obscure
gastrointestinal bleeding, using a capsule endoscopy device
(including administration of the capsule, associated endoscopy
procedure if required for placement, imaging, image reading
and interpretation, and all attendances for providing the
service on the day the capsule is administered) if:
$2,039.20
Service
Change
2011-12
to 201415
12,156
36%
(a) the patient to whom the service is provided:
(i) has recurrent or persistent bleeding; and
(ii) is anaemic or has active bleeding; and
(b) an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and a colonoscopy
have been performed on the patient and have not
identified the cause of the bleeding; and
(c) the service has not been provided to the same patient on
more than 2 occasions in the preceding 12 months; and
(d) the service is performed by a specialist or consultant
physician with endoscopic training that is recognised by
The Conjoint Committee for Recognition of Training in
Gastrointestinal Endoscopy; and
(e) the service is not associated with balloon enteroscopy.
Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
Table 12:
Proposed MBS descriptor for capsule endoscopy item 11820
Item #
Item Descriptor
11820
Capsule endoscopy to investigate an episode of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding,
using a capsule endoscopy device (including administration of the capsule,
associated endoscopy procedure if required for placement, imaging, image reading
and interpretation, and all attendances for providing the service on the day the
capsule is administered) if:
(a) the patient to whom the service is provided:
(i) has recurrent or persistent GI bleeding; and
(1) has iron deficiency anaemia that is not due to coeliac disease,
(2) a duodenal biopsy (where not contra indicated) has been performed
and has not identified the cause of the iron deficiency anaemia
(3) menorrhagia if present has been considered and managed; OR
(ii) has overt active GI bleeding; and
(b) an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and a colonoscopy have been performed
on the patient and have not identified the cause of the bleeding; and
(c) the service has not been provided to the same patient on more than 2 occasions
in the preceding 12 months; and
(d) the service is performed by a specialist or consultant physician with endoscopic
training that is recognised by The Conjoint Committee for Recognition of
Training in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy; and
(e) the service is not associated with balloon enteroscopy.
Schedule Fee
$2,039.20
Proposed additions are underlined.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 41
Rationale
A rapid review undertaken by the Department of Health, at the request of the Committee, did not
find any correlation between the increase in services and the prevalence and hospitalisation of OGIB
in Australia. The rapid review report is provided at Appendix C.
The Committee noted there are very few MBS items that explicitly cover high cost consumables (CE
is a notable example), and a large proportion of the CE fee (~70%) covers capital and consumable
costs. There is potential for these costs to reduce over time and depending on the location of the
service, the consumable cost may or may not be borne by the practitioner who receives the MBS
benefit.
The Committee noted that the current MBS fee for CE item (item 11820) is $2,039.20. Table 10
shows the component cost of CE as assessed by MSAC in 2003 and the component costs in 2016
based on those proportions with fee indexing. The Committee found that the price of the ‘pillcam’
has not increased in price since 2003, yet the MBS fee has increased with indexing. The component
of the fee that represents the ‘pillcam’ now is $1,076.98, a difference of $181.98.
Recommendation 3: 2. Capsule Endoscopy
The Committee considers that the usage pattern of CE is not explained on clinical grounds alone and
the fee of $2,039.20 may be driving higher than anticipated use.
1. The Committee recommends a fee assessment by MSAC to see whether the current fee is
reflective of the current costs for CE item 11820. This assessment may also have flow-on effects
to the fee for CE item 11823 which was modelled on the fee for CE item 11820.
Recommendation Impact Statement
The recommendation for a fee assessment by Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) will
address concerns that the fee may be set too high and may be driving higher than expected use.
6.2 Endoscopic upper gastrointestinal services (items 30473, 30476, 30478,
30479)
Issues
The Committee reviewed the upper GI endoscopy services (MBS items 30473, 30476, 30478, 30479)
and associated service data. The Committee noted that two of these items had service level change
from 2011-12 to 2014-15 of 29% for item 30479 and 32% for item 30478. The Committee also noted
the higher fee for item 30479 which provides for endoscopic laser therapy or Argon Plasma
Coagulation (APC) for the treatment of specified conditions. The Committee raised concerns that
there is some inconsistency between the descriptors for these items.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Rationale
The Committee agreed that APC is no more time consuming of the skills required than other forms
of endoscopic interventions and APC should be moved from the laser item 30479 into the more
general endoscopic item 30478. The Committee also agreed that items 30476 and 30478 should be
simplified by consolidating the services into one item. This consolidation will not change the fee or
the intent of these services.
The restructure proposed will provide one diagnostic item 30473, a general therapeutic item 30478
(without laser) and a stand-alone higher rebated item 30479 for laser procedures in specified
circumstances. The Committee agreed that these changes should include minor amendments to the
item descriptors to maintain requirements that the therapeutic items specify the available
techniques and pathologies.
The Committee reviewed the data on repeat services for these items to determine if frequency
restrictions should be introduced. The Committee noted that over 40 per cent of patients had a
repeat service within a three – five period, ranging between two and 51 repeats per patient. The
Committee agreed that repeat services should be determined by recurrent bleeding and it would be
unusual to need to repeat the service.
The Committee agreed that the major reforms to the colonoscopy services may alter existing service
patterns for these items and that repeat data should be reviewed again following these changes. The
Committee agreed that the current co-claiming restrictions on these items (same patient, same day,
same provider) should be retained and similar restrictions applied to item 30479.
Table 13:
Data on repeat service (item 30473) per patient 2008-09 to 2014-15
No. of times Item 30473
claimed
No. of Patients
No. of Services
Patient percentage
1
1,344,795
1,344,795
58.6%
2
277,895
555,790
24.2%
3
74,705
224,115
9.8%
4
22,548
90,192
3.9%
5
7,491
37,455
1.6%
6
3,144
18,864
0.8%
7
1,561
10,927
0.5%
8
637
5,096
0.2%
9
296
2,664
0.1%
10
189
1,890
0.1%
11
101
1,111
<0.1%
12
64
768
<0.1%
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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No. of times Item 30473
claimed
No. of Patients
No. of Services
Patient percentage
13
39
507
<0.1%
14
26
364
<0.1%
15
18
270
<0.1%
16
8
128
<0.1%
17
5
85
<0.1%
18 - 51
16
389
<0.1%
Source: Department of Health (unpublished MBS data)
Table 14:
Current MBS upper GI endoscopy items
Services
2014–15
Service
Change
2011–12 to
2014–15
Item
Item Descriptor
Schedule
Fee
30473
OESOPHAGOSCOPY (not being a service to which item
$177.10
373,349
12%
$245.55
1,742
1%
$245.55
16,267
32%
$476.10
2,315
29%
41816 or 41822 applies), GASTROSCOPY, DUODENOSCOPY
or PANENDOSCOPY (1 or more such procedures), with or
without biopsy, not being a service associated with a
service to which item 30476 and 30478, applies (Anaes.)
30476
OESOPHAGOSCOPY (not being a service to which item
41816 or 41822 applies), GASTROSCOPY, DUODENOSCOPY
or PANENDOSCOPY (1 or more such procedures), with
endoscopic sclerosing injection or banding of oesophageal
or gastric varices, not being a service associated with a
service to which item 30473 or 30478 applies (Anaes.)
30478
OESOPHAGOSCOPY (not being a service to which item
41816, 41822 or 41825 applies), gastroscopy,
duodenoscopy or panendoscopy (1 or more such
procedures), with 1 or more of the following endoscopic
procedures - polypectomy, removal of foreign body,
diathermy, heater probe or laser coagulation, or sclerosing
injection of bleeding upper gastrointestinal lesions, not
being a service associated with a service to which item
30473 or 30476 applies (Anaes.)
30479
ENDOSCOPY with LASER THERAPY or ARGON PLASMA
COAGULATION, for the treatment of neoplasia, benign
vascular lesions, strictures of the gastrointestinal tract,
tumorous overgrowth through or over oesophageal stents,
peptic ulcers, angiodysplasia, gastric antral vascular ectasia
(GAVE) or post-polypectomy bleeding, 1 or more of
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Item
Item Descriptor
Schedule
Fee
Services
2014–15
Service
Change
2011–12 to
2014–15
(Anaes.)
Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Table 15:
Proposed restructure of MBS upper GI endoscopy items
Item
Item Descriptor
Schedule Fee
30473
OESOPHAGOSCOPY (not being a service to which item 41816 or 41822 applies) $177.10
GASTROSCOPY, DUODENOSCOPY or PANENDOSCOPY (1 or more such
procedures), with or without biopsy, not being a service associated with a
service to which item 30478 or 30479, applies (Anaes.)
30476
Service combined with item 30478
$245.55
30478
OESOPHAGOSCOPY (not being a service to which item 41816, 41822 or 41825
$245.55
applies and not being a services associated with a service to which item 30473
or 30479 applies), GASTROSCOPY, DUODENOSCOPY , PANENDOSCOPY or
PUSH ENTEROSCOPY (1 or more such procedures), with 1 or more of the
following endoscopic procedures:
i
ii
iii
iv
v
vi
vii
Polypectomy
Sclerosing or adrenalin injections
Banding
Endoscopic clips,
Haemostatic powders
Diathermy
Argon plasma coagulation
For the treatment of:
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
g)
h)
i)
Upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding
Polyps
Foreign body (removal),
Oesophageal or gastric varices
Peptic ulcers
Neoplasia
Benign vascular lesions
Strictures of the gastrointestinal tract
Tumorous overgrowth through or over oesophageal stents
(Anaes.)
30479
ENDOSCOPY with LASER THERAPY, (not being a service associated with a
$476.10
service to which item 30473 or 30478 applies) for the treatment of 1 or more
of:
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
g)
h)
Neoplasia
Benign vascular lesions
Strictures of the gastrointestinal tract
Tumorous overgrowth through or over oesophageal stents
Peptic ulcers
Angiodysplasia
Gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE)
Post-polypectomy bleeding
(Anaes.)
Proposed additions are underlined.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Recommendation 4: 1. Endoscopic upper gastrointestinal services
1. The Committee recommends simplifying and restructuring items 30473, 30476, 30478, 30479,
by combining items 30476 and 30478 and moving Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC) from the
laser item 30479 into the more general (without laser) item 30478. The recommended
restructure will not change the fee or the intent of the services and will provide one diagnostic
item 30473, a general therapeutic item 30478 (without laser) and a stand-alone higher rebated
item 30479 for laser procedures in specified circumstances. This change would also involve
minor amendments to the item descriptors to maintain requirements that the therapeutic items
specify the available techniques and pathologies to be treated.
2. The Committee recommends that co-claiming restrictions on these items (same patient, same
day, same provider) be retained for items 30473 and 30478 and similar restrictions applied to
item 30479.
3. The Committee recommends that GESA be provided with the repeat service data for these items
and asked to consider developing suitable guidelines on when repeat services are clinically
appropriate.
4. The Committee recommends repeat service data on these items should be reviewed again
following proposed colonoscopy changes as this may change existing service patterns.
Recommendation Impact Statement
The recommendation to consolidate these services will simplify the item structure and minimise
confusion about which items should be billed by providers. The recommended changes will ensure
that patients receive services that reflect contemporary clinical practice and techniques.
Push Enteroscopy
The Committee noted that Push Enteroscopy (PE) is currently being provided under MBS item 30487
- small bowel intubations with biopsy. A rapid evidence review of this procedure was undertaken by
the Department of Health at the request of the Committee to examine the evidence for this
procedure.
Rationale
Based on the evidence review and their knowledge of Australian practice, the Committee found PE
to be a niche service and well established for diagnosis of obscure GI bleeding, where it
complements capsule endoscopy and balloon enteroscopy. The Committee agreed that the main
indication for PE is for small bowel lesions detected usually by capsule endoscopy and are judged to
be within a short distance beyond the duodenum within reach of the PE for the therapeutic
management of those lesions. The Committee agreed that item 30487 would become obsolete if PE
services were moved to the upper GI endoscopy service 30478. The evidence review is provided at
Appendix D.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Recommendation 4: 2. Endoscopic upper gastrointestinal services
1. The Committee recommends that PE be included in the upper GI endoscopic interventional item
30478 and that services provided under item 30487 – small bowel intubations will shift, making
this item obsolete.
Recommendation Impact Statement
The recommendation to provide for Push Enteroscopy in the upper GI endoscopy item 30478 will
assist practitioners as the service is better defined under this item than under the small bowel
intubation item 30487.
6.3 Endoscopic upper gastrointestinal strictures (items 30475, 41819, 41820 and
41831)
Issues
The Committee reviewed endoscopic upper gastrointestinal stricture items referred to it by the ENT
Clinical Committee and identified overlap between these items and item 30475.
Rationale
The Committee found no concerns with the clinical utility of these services but considers that the
structure of these items is overly complicated. The MBS data was reviewed and disclosed that most
services are provided by gastroenterologists and covered under item 41819, with relatively low
volumes for the other stricture items.
The Committee agreed that two items (41819 and 41820) could be simplified and consolidated with
item 30475. The Committee further agreed that the consolidated item should allow any endoscopic
technique to be performed for oesophageal through to gastroduodenal procedures and include
imaging intensification if done.
An explanatory note is recommended to make this intention clear.
The proposed fee was considered for the consolidated item and the Committee agreed that it should
be the current fee for 41819 which is higher than 30475 but lower than 41820.
The Committee also reviewed item 41831 and agreed that the service should be amended to
indicate that it is specific to the treatment of achalasia.
Recommendation 5: Endoscopic upper gastrointestinal strictures
The Committee recommends consolidation of items 41819, 41820 and 30475. The consolidated item
will allow any endoscopic technique to be performed for oesophageal through to gastroduodenal
procedures and include imaging intensification if done. An explanatory note is recommended to
make this intention clear.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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It is recommended that the fee for this item is the current fee for 41819 which is higher than 30475
but lower than 41820.
The Committee also recommends that item 41831 be amended to indicate that this service is
specific to the treatment of achalasia.
Recommendation Impact Statement
The recommendation to consolidate these services will simplify the item structure and minimise
confusion about which items should be billed by providers. The recommended changes will ensure
that patients receive services that reflect contemporary clinical practice and techniques.
Table 16:
Current endoscopic upper GI stricture items
Services
2014–15
Service
Change
2011–12 to
2014–15
Item #
Item Descriptor
Schedule
Fee
30475
∆
ENDOSCOPY with balloon dilatation of gastric or
gastroduodenal stricture
Multiple Services Rule (Anaes.)
$320.25
1,315
1%
DILATATION OF STRICTURE OF UPPER GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT using bougie or balloon over
endoscopically inserted guidewire, including
endoscopy with flexible or rigid endoscope
Multiple Services Rule (Anaes.)
$348.95
11,649
14%
$418.75
374
30%
∆
DILATATION OF STRICTURE OF UPPER GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT using bougie or balloon over
endoscopically inserted guidewire, including
endoscopy with flexible or rigid endoscope, where
the use of imaging intensification is clinically
indicated
Multiple Services Rule (Anaes.)
∆
∆
OESOPHAGUS, endoscopic pneumatic dilation of
Multiple Services Rule (Anaes.)
$357.00
356
-7%
∆
41819
∆
∆
41820
41831
∆
Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
Table 17:
Proposed endoscopic upper GI stricture items
Item
Item Descriptor
Schedule Fee
30475
∆
$348.95
∆
ENDOSCOPIC DILATATION OF STRICTURE OF UPPER GASTRO-INTESTINAL
TRACT including the use of imaging intensification where clinically indicated
Multiple Services Rule (Anaes.)
41819
Service consolidated in item 30475
$348.95
41820
Service consolidated in item 30475
$418.75
41831
OESOPHAGUS, endoscopic pneumatic dilatation for treatment of achalasia
$357.00
Multiple Services Rule (Anaes.)
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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6.4 Flexible fibreoptic sigmoidoscopy or fibreoptic colonoscopy (items 32084 and
32087)
Issue
The Committee reviewed sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy services (items 32084 and 32087) and the
associated service data. The Committee is concerned that the language used to describe some
aspects of the service is out-of-date and that the quality requirements could be enhanced.
Table 18:
Co-claiming of items 32090, 32093, 32084 and 32087 (5 year data) 2010-11 to 2014-15
Items
Episodes
Number of Services
32090
1,317,388
1,317,532
32093
896,188
896,269
32084
91,596
91,673
32093 and 32090
202
405
32090 and 32084
86
173
32093 and 32084
84
170
32093 and 32087
12
24
32090 and 32087
5
10
32087 and 32084
29
58
Source: Department of Health (unpublished MBS data)
Rationale
The Committee considers that the item descriptors could better define the examination of the colon
to emphasise the importance of a complete colonoscopy. The current examination requirements,
‘up to the hepatic flexure’, is out-of-date and examination which has not reached the caecum
ensures that a comprehensive examination of the colon is performed. This is a quality measure and
complements recommended changes to colonoscopy items 32090 and 32093.
The Committee noted that this requirement is not possible for a small number of patients without a
caecum. Patients who have had a right hemicolectomy should be examined to the anastomosis.
The Committee agreed that ‘fibreoptic’ in the item descriptor is no longer relevant as both scopes
are digital.
The Committee considered the use of Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC) in the item 32087 and agreed
that the use of this therapy is too restrictive and does not allow other therapies to be used.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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The review of data disclosed a number of same day co-claiming of items 32093 and 32090 and the
Committee did not believe that there could be any clinical justification for this during the same
episode of care.
Recommendation 6: Flexible fibreoptic sigmoidoscopy or fibreoptic colonoscopy
The Committee recommends amending the descriptors for items 32084 and 32087 to better define
the examination of the colon from ‘up to the hepatic flexure’ to ‘which has not reached the caecum’
as a quality measure designed to emphasise the importance of a complete colonoscopy.
a) The Committee recommends that the descriptors for items 32084 and 32087 be amended to
better define the examination of the colon from ‘up to the hepatic flexure’ to ‘which has not
reached the caecum’. Noting that this requirement is not possible for a small number of
patients without a caecum. For patients post right hemicolectomy this examination will not
reach the anastomosis. This complements recommended changes to colonoscopy items
32090 and 32093.
b) The specific reference to APC to be removed to enable other therapies to be used.
c) The removal of ‘fibreoptic’ from the item descriptors as both scopes are digital.
d) Introduce restrictions on the co-claiming of these items and with colonoscopy items 32090
and 32093, same patient, same day, same provider. These items should not be claimed
together unless the subsequent service has been provided under a second episode of
sedation/anaesthesia.
Recommendation Impact Statement
The recommendation to update the descriptors for these items will better define the examination of
the colon and ensure patients receive a comprehensive colonoscopy. Patients and providers will also
benefit from the expansion of therapies that can be used to control bleeding under the therapeutic
service item 32087.
Table 19:
Current MBS descriptors for sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy items 32084 & 32087
Service
Change
2011–12 to
2014–15
Item #
Item Descriptor
Services
Schedule Fee
2014–15
32084
∆
FLEXIBLE FIBREOPTIC SIGMOIDOSCOPY or
FIBREOPTIC COLONOSCOPY up to the hepatic
flexure, WITH or WITHOUT BIOPSY
Multiple Service Rule (Anaes.)
$111.35
18,695
1%
Endoscopic examination of the colon up to the
hepatic flexure by FLEXIBLE FIBREOPTIC
SIGMOIDOSCOPY or FIBREOPTIC COLONOSCOPY
for the REMOVAL OF 1 OR MORE POLYPS or the
treatment of radiation proctitis, angiodysplasia or
post-polypectomy bleeding by ARGON PLASMA
COAGULATION, 1 or more of
Multiple Services Rule (Anaes.)
$204.70
3,247
6%
∆
32087
∆
∆
Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Table 20:
Proposed MBS descriptors for sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy items 32084 & 32087
Item
Item Descriptor
32084
∆
∆
32087
∆
∆
Schedule Fee
$111.35
Endoscopic examination of the colon which does not reach the caecum
by FLEXIBLE SIGMOIDOSCOPY or COLONOSCOPY, WITH or WITHOUT BIOPSY,
not being a service to which items 32087, 32090, 32093 applies
Multiple Services Rule (Anaes.)
Endoscopic examination of the colon which does not reach the caecum by
$204.70
FLEXIBLE SIGMOIDOSCOPY or COLONOSCOPY for the REMOVAL OF 1 OR
MORE POLYPS or the treatment of radiation proctitis, angiodysplasia or postpolypectomy bleeding, 1 or more of, not being a service to which items
32084, 32090, 32093 applies
Multiple Services Rule (Anaes.)
Proposed additions are underlined.
6.5 Endoscopic Ultrasound (items 30688, 30690, 30692, 30694)
Issues
The Committee reviewed Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) services to determine if co-claiming
restrictions should be removed and allow therapeutic procedures to be performed during the same
episode of care. The Committee notes that these items were introduced in 2007 following MSAC
appraisal and that the indication for EUS is limited to staging of various gastro-intestinal cancers. The
Committee notes the intended purpose but is concerned that the co-claiming restrictions on the EUS
items significantly restricts the management of some patients who are found to require therapeutic
services following EUS.
Rationale
The Committee reviewed subsequent service patterns for patients who received EUS and found that
within one month of having this procedure; patients are often having a second anaesthesia for ERCP
(item 30484) and/or related therapeutic procedures. This means that patients may undergo a
second episode of care (with a second anaesthetic) to perform the necessary therapeutic
intervention. A typical example is for a patient who requires bile duct stenting following EUS staging
of pancreatic cancer. The Committee agreed that it is clinically appropriate to provide the services
listed in Table 22 during the same episode of care and the patient should not be required to undergo
a second episode of anaesthesia. The Committee noted that the number of practitioners that have
the skills to do both EUS and ERCP activities is small and this should be reflected in the co-claiming of
these services.
Recommendation 7: Endoscopic Ultrasound
The Committee recommends that if during an Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) examination an issue is
identified which requires an ERCP or related therapeutic procedure, it is clinically appropriate that
these procedures be performed on the same occasion. Co-claiming restrictions should be removed
on the EUS items 30688 to 30694 to allow ERCP therapeutic procedures (items 30484, 30485, 30494)
to be performed during the same episode of care.
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The Committee noted that should co-claiming restrictions be relaxed there may be some
unanticipated financial impacts on the billing of these items.
Recommendation Impact Statement
The recommendation to remove the current claiming restrictions on these diagnostic services will
benefit patients as it will allow practitioners to provide specific therapeutic services during the same
episode of care. This will mean that patients will not be required to undergo a second sedation.
Table 21:
Current Endoscopic Ultrasound items
Item
Item Descriptor
Schedule
Fee
Services
2014–15
Service
Change
2011–12 to
2014–15
30688
ENDOSCOPIC ULTRASOUND (endoscopy with
$364.90
1,545
19%
$563.30
779
-6%
$364.90
3,085
40%
$563.30
1,689
61%
ultrasound imaging), with or without biopsy, for the
staging of 1 or more of oesophageal, gastric or
pancreatic cancer, not in association with another item
in this Subgroup and not being a service associated with
the routine monitoring of chronic pancreatitis. (Anaes.)
30690
ENDOSCOPIC ULTRASOUND (endoscopy with
ultrasound imaging), with or without biopsy, WITH FINE
NEEDLE ASPIRATION, including aspiration of the
locoregional lymph nodes if performed, for the staging
of 1 or more of oesophageal, gastric or pancreatic
cancer, not in association with another item in this
Subgroup and not being a service associated with the
routine monitoring of chronic pancreatitis. (Anaes.)
30692
ENDOSCOPIC ULTRASOUND (endoscopy with
ultrasound imaging), with or without biopsy, for the
diagnosis of 1 or more of pancreatic, biliary or gastric
submucosal tumours, not in association with another
item in this Subgroup and not being a service
associated with the routine monitoring of chronic
pancreatitis. (Anaes.)
30694
ENDOSCOPIC ULTRASOUND (endoscopy with
ultrasound imaging), with or without biopsy, WITH FINE
NEEDLE ASPIRATION for the diagnosis of 1 or more of
pancreatic, biliary or gastric submucosal tumours, not
in association with another item in this Subgroup and
not being a service associated with the routine
monitoring of chronic pancreatitis. (Anaes.)
Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
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Table 22:
Subsequent gastroenterology services (items 30484, 30485, 30494) performed on patients in the
month preceding Endoscopic Ultrasound items 30688 to 30696
Item #
Descriptor (brief)
2013–14 Services
2014–15 Services
30484
ERCP
143
124
30485
Endoscopic sphincterotomy
123
105
30494
Endoscopic biliary dilatation
5
6
Source: Department of Health (unpublished MBS data)
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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7.
Items requiring further assessment
7.1 Balloon Enteroscopy (items, 30680, 30682, 30684, 30686)
Issues
The Committee reviewed these services to determine if the current clinical indication could be
expanded to include some capacity to manage small bowel diseases without anaemia or bleeding,
specifically, but not restricted to, Crohn’s disease.
Table 23:
Current Balloon Enteroscopy items
Services
2014–15
Service
Change
2011–12 to
2014–15
Item
Item Descriptor
Schedule
Fee
30680
∆
$1,170.00
302
60%
$1,170.00
239
44%
$1,439.85
364
144%
∆
Balloon enteroscopy, examination of the small
bowel (oral approach), with or without biopsy,
WITHOUT intraprocedural therapy, for diagnosis of
patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, not
in association with another item in this subgroup
(with the exception of item 30682 or 30686)
The patient to whom the service is provided must:
(i) have recurrent or persistent bleeding; and
(ii) be anaemic or have active bleeding; and
(iii) have had an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy
and a colonoscopy performed which did not identify
the cause of the bleeding. (Anaes.)
30682
∆
∆
Balloon enteroscopy, examination of the small
bowel (anal approach), with or without biopsy,
WITHOUT intraprocedural therapy, for diagnosis of
patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, not
in association with another item in this subgroup
(with the exception of item 30680 or 30684)
The patient to whom the service is provided must:
(i) have recurrent or persistent bleeding; and
(ii) be anaemic or have active bleeding; and
(iii) have had an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy
and a colonoscopy performed which did not identify
the cause of the bleeding. (Anaes.)
30684
∆
∆
Balloon enteroscopy, examination of the small
bowel (oral approach), with or without biopsy,
WITH 1 or more of the following procedures (snare
polypectomy, removal of foreign body, diathermy,
heater probe, laser coagulation or argon plasma
coagulation), for diagnosis and management of
patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, not
in association with another item in this subgroup
(with the exception of item 30682 or 30686)
The patient to whom the service is provided must:
(i) have recurrent or persistent bleeding; and
(ii) be anaemic or have active bleeding; and
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Item
Item Descriptor
Schedule
Fee
Services
2014–15
Service
Change
2011–12 to
2014–15
$1,439.85
105
48%
(iii)
have had an upper gastrointestinal
endoscopy and a colonoscopy performed which
did not identify the cause of the bleeding.
(Anaes.)
30686
∆
∆
Balloon enteroscopy, examination of the small
bowel (anal approach), with or without biopsy,
WITH 1 or more of the following procedures (snare
polypectomy, removal of foreign body, diathermy,
heater probe, laser coagulation or argon plasma
coagulation), for diagnosis and management of
patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, not
in association with another item in this subgroup
(with the exception of item 30680 or 30684)
The patient to whom the service is provided must:
(i) have recurrent or persistent bleeding; and
(ii) be anaemic or have active bleeding; and
(iii) have had an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy
and a colonoscopy performed which did not identify
the cause of the bleeding. (Anaes.)
Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
Rationale
The Committee noted that an important emerging clinical gap is the enteroscopic management
(diagnosis and therapy) of small bowel strictures in the absence of anaemia or bleeding. With
enhanced small bowel cross-sectional imaging, increasing numbers of patients with enteric masses
and strictures are being referred for balloon enteroscopy for characterization and treatment.
Currently these items are restricted to patients who present with bleeding and anaemia, similar to
capsule endoscopy, and the therapeutic interventions available do not include balloon dilatation.
This significantly restricts the management of these patients, and exposes them to unnecessary
other tests and procedures, including surgery.
The Committee noted that in its November 2013 assessment for these services (MSAC application
1206) MSAC reported that balloon enteroscopy may be useful in patients with small bowel disease
who present without bleeding. However, the applicant had not sought MBS listing for these
conditions. The Committee noted that an expansion of the clinical conditions for these services
would need to be referred back to MSAC for assessment.
For clarity, the Committee noted the difference between balloon enteroscopy (where a balloon
attached to the endoscope (single balloon) or to the endoscope and associated overtube (double
balloon) to enable passage of the endoscope through the small bowel, and endoscopic balloon
dilatation which is a therapeutic procedure using a ‘through the scope’ balloon which is inflated to
treat strictures in the bowel, in this case, through a single or double balloon enteroscope.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Recommendation 8: Balloon Enteroscopy
The Committee recommends an MSAC assessment to expand the conditions for these items to
manage small bowel diseases without anaemia or bleeding, specifically, but not restricted to,
Crohn’s disease.
Recommendation Impact Statement
No changes to these items have been recommended. However, MSAC will be asked to review these
items to expand the conditions and patient population to better manage a range of small bowel
diseases.
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8.
New Items
8.1 Endoscopic Mucosal Resection
Issues
The Committee proposes that consideration be given to adding a new MBS item for the removal of
very large polyps by Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR). The Committee noted that if surgery is
currently the only approach for the removal of very large polyps then EMR would need to meet an
evidence threshold for clinical safety. If a fee greater than colonoscopy is envisaged then cost
effectiveness must also be considered.
Rationale
The Committee considered research evidence on the safety, clinical effectiveness and costeffectiveness of this procedure and noted the widespread use in public hospitals. The Committee
noted the range of EMR complexity, time and expertise required to perform the procedure and
considered if the service should be restricted to specialist to specialist referrals and or if specifying
the size of the resected specimen is required.
The Committee agreed that it should not be restricted to tertiary referral as this would prevent
experienced specialists from completing the procedure if found during a normal colonoscopy. It
would also mean that the patient would undergo an unnecessary second sedation for the removal at
a later date. The Committee agreed that the resected specimen should exceed a diameter of around
2.5 - 3.0 cm on the understanding the polyp may have been removed in bits but if pieced together
would achieve this dimension.
Recommendation 9: Endoscopic Mucosal Resection
The Committee recommends an assessment by the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) of
EMR to enable consideration of public funding for this procedure. The Committee recommends that
the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) submit an application to MSAC and request an
expedited assessment.
Recommendation Impact Statement
The Committee recommends GESA sponsor an MSAC application for public funding of EMR for the
removal of very large polyps. This would be an alternative to surgery and would benefit the patient
as it would be less invasive and recovery time would be reduced.
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9.
Obsolete items
9.1 First round of obsolete items
Issue
The Committee was asked by the Taskforce to identify obsolete services that have no clinical
purpose in contemporary practice as they have been superseded by another procedure, or the
service identified is better covered under another item.
Rationale
The Committee reviewed items 13500 and 13503 and noted the low level of services. The
Committee agreed that these items are no longer part of contemporary clinical practice.
The Committee reviewed items 32078 and 32081 and agreed that these have been superseded by
other sigmoidoscopy services.
It should be noted that items relating to flexible sigmoidoscopy, including with polypectomy, remain
in the schedule. For example, MBS items 32084 (flexible fibreoptic sigmoidoscopy or fibreoptic
colonoscopy up to the hepatic flexure, with or without biopsy) and item 32087 (endoscopic
examination of the colon up to the hepatic flexure by flexible fibreoptic sigmoidoscopy or fibreoptic
colonoscopy for the removal of 1 or more polyps or the treatment of radiation proctitis,
angiodysplasia or post-polypectomy by argon plasma coagulation) provide for sigmoidoscopy
examination and treatment.
Recommendation 10: 1. Obsolete items – first round
The Committee recommend items 13500, 13503, 32087 and 32081 be removed from the MBS as
they have no clinical purpose in contemporary practice as they have been superseded by another
service or procedure, or the service identified is better covered under another item:
In December 2015, these items were included in open public consultation for obsolete items. Public
comments received were considered by the Committee and in February 2016 the MBS Review
Taskforce recommended to Government that these items be removed from the MBS. The
Government agreed with this recommendation with an effective date of 1 July 2016.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Table 24:
Item
First round recommendations–obsolete items
Item Descriptor
Schedule Fee Services 2014–15
13500 GASTRIC HYPOTHERMIA by closed circuit circulation of refrigerant
$180.30
9
$360.70
0
$168.55
151
$231.45
27
IN THE ABSENCE OF GASTROINTESTINAL HAEMORRHAGE
13503 GASTRIC HYPOTHERMIA by closed circuit circulation of refrigerant
FOR UPPER GASTROINTESTINAL HAEMORRHAGE
32078
SIGMOIDOSCOPIC EXAMINATION with diathermy OR resection of
1 or more polyps where the time taken is less than or equal to 45
minutes (Anaes.)
32081
SIGMOIDOSCOPIC EXAMINATION with diathermy OR resection of
1 or more polyps where the time taken is greater than 45 minutes
(Anaes.)
Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
9.2 Second round of obsolete items
Issue
The Committee identified a further two items it considers obsolete and should be removed from the
MBS.
Rationale
Item 30487 for small bowel intubation with biopsy has been identified by the Committee as obsolete
as it has been superseded by another procedure, i.e. Push Enteroscopy which the Committee agrees
should be included in the upper GI interventional item 30478. More detail on Push Enteroscopy is
provided in Section 6.26.2.
Item 30493 for biliary manometry was included in the public consultation for obsolete items in
December 2015. The Committee reviewed the comments received and sought further expert
opinion on the procedure. The advice received confirmed that biliary manometry is not supported by
the published literature and should be removed from the MBS. The Committee agreed that this item
is obsolete.
Recommendation 10: 2. Obsolete items – second round
The Committee recommends the removal of item 30487 from the MBS as it has no clinical purpose
in contemporary practice. The Committee recommends that the service provided under item 30487,
push enteroscopy, is better covered under another item for interventional upper GI endoscopic
procedures item 30478.
The Committee recommends the removal of item 30493 from the MBS as it is not supported by the
published literature and has no place in contemporary clinical practice.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Recommendation Impact Statement
The removal of these items from the MBS is not expected to have an impact on providers or
patients. Removing obsolete items from the MBS will benefit providers as it will minimise confusion
about which item should be claimed for services and will benefit patients as there will be no
Medicare benefit for outdated services, thereby incentivising current clinical practice.
Table 25:
Second round recommendations - obsolete items
Item
Item Descriptor
30487
SMALL BOWEL INTUBATION with biopsy, as an independent
Schedule
Fee
Services
2014-15
$180.90
2,297
$333.20
17
procedure (Anaes.)
30493
BILIARY MANOMETRY (Anaes.)
Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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10. General MBS issues
Generic MBS Issues identified by the Committee
The Committee has identified several issues for noting which have broader application across the
MBS and should be considered by the Taskforce.
1. The Committee examined data on co-claiming of services – that is where more than one item
per patient is claimed by the same provider on the same day. The Committee notes there is
significant variation in the co-claiming of services between doctors, and that the level of coclaiming has increased in some areas.
2. The Committee is generally supportive of limiting co-claiming of consultation services on the
same day as a planned procedure e.g. colonoscopy.
3. The Committee noted the implications of including high cost consumables in the item fee for
services performed in out-of-hospital settings. The Committee noted that the MBS may not be
the best vehicle for funding high cost consumables that are integral to the service for reasons
including:
a) device and consumable costs usually reduce over time and there is no ready ability in the
MBS to adjust pricing accordingly.
b) depending on the location of the service the consumable cost may or may not be borne by
the health professional who receives the MBS benefit.
c) any other available funding sources will vary according to whether it is an in-hospital vs outof-hospital service and whether it is a private hospital or public hospital service.
4. It is the Committee’s view that the lack of funding for high cost consumables through the MBS,
private health insurance subsidies and public hospital budgets is compromising access to
services with proven clinical value. This issue is evident in item 30687, an endoscopic procedure
providing radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of Barrett’s Oesophagus. The funding of the
high cost disposable radiofrequency ablation device is not covered under the MBS item and
private health insurers will not pick up the costs of the device as it is not listed on the prosthesis
list.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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NICE. (2016, n/a n/a). Phototherapy for Psoriasis. Retrieved from NICE:
http://pathways.nice.org.uk/pathways/psoriasis#path=view%3A/pathways/psoriasis/phototherapy-forpsoriasis.xml&content=view-index
NPS Medicine Wise. (2016). choosing wisely. Retrieved 7 22, 2016, from
http://www.choosingwisely.org.au/home
NPS MedicineWise. (2016). Choosing Wisely Australia. Retrieved 7 22, 2016, from
http://www.choosingwisely.org.au/home
Raju, G. e. (n.d.). Outcome of Endoscopic Mucosal Resection As an Alternative to Surgery in Patients with
Complex Colon Polyps. not published .
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. (n.d.). guidelines for preventive activities in general practice
(the red book). Retrieved 7 1, 2016, from http://www.racgp.org.au/your-practice/guidelines/redbook/
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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12. Acronyms and Abbreviations
Term
Description
ACSQHC
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
APC
Argon Plasma Coagulation
CE
Capsule endoscopy
EMR
Endoscopic Mucosal Resection
ENT
Ear Nose and Throat
ERCP
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography
EUS
Endoscopic Ultrasound
FOBT
Faecal occult blood test
GAVE
Gastric antral vascular ectasia
GESA
Gastroenterological Society of Australia
HPOS
Health Professionals Online System
MBS
Medicare Benefits Schedule
MSAC
Medical Services Advisory Committee
NHMRC
National Health and Medical Research Council
NICE UK
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
PE
Push Enteroscopy
SES
Socioeconomic status
the Committee / GCC
Gastroenterology Clinical Committee
the Taskforce
Review Taskforce
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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13. Glossary
Term
Description
Department, The
Australian Government Department of Health
DHS
Australian Government Department of Human Services
GP
General practitioner
High–value care
Services of proven efficacy reflecting current best medical practice, or for
which the potential benefit to consumers exceeds the risk and costs.
Inappropriate use / misuse
The use of MBS services for purposes other than those intended. This
includes a range of behaviours ranging from failing to adhere to particular
item descriptors or rules, through to deliberate fraud.
Low-value care
The use of an intervention which evidence suggests confers no or very little
benefit on patients, or that the risk of harm exceeds the likely benefit, or,
more broadly, that the added costs of the intervention do not provide
proportional added benefits.
MBS item
An administrative object listed in the MBS and used for the purposes of
claiming and paying Medicare benefits, comprising an item number, service
descriptor and supporting information, Schedule fee and Medicare benefits.
MBS service
The actual medical consultation, procedure, test to which the relevant MBS
item refers.
MSAC
Medical Services Advisory Committee
Multiple operation rule
A rule governing the amount of Medicare benefit payable for multiple
operations performed on a patient on the one occasion. In general, the fees
for two or more operations are calculated by the following rule:
∆
∆
∆
100 per cent for the item with the greatest Schedule fee
plus 50 per cent for the item with the next greatest Schedule fee
plus 25 per cent for each other item.
Multiple services rules
A set of rules governing the amount of Medicare benefit payable for
(diagnostic imaging)
multiple diagnostic imaging services provided to a patient at the same
attendance (same day). See MBS Explanatory Note DIJ for more
information.
Obsolete services
Services that should no longer be performed as they do not represent
current clinical best practice and have been superseded by superior tests or
procedures.
Pathology episode coning
An arrangement governing the amount of Medicare benefit payable for
multiple pathology services performed in a single patient episode. When
more than three pathology services are requested by a general practitioner
in a patient episode, the benefits payable are equivalent to the sum of the
benefits for the three items with the highest Schedule fees.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Term
Description
PBS
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
PHCAG
Primary Health Care Advisory Group
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Appendix A
Table A1:
Full list of MBS items under review
Group D1 – Miscellaneous Diagnostic Procedures and Investigations: Subgroup 7—
Gastroenterology and colorectal
Item
Description
11800
Oesophageal motility test, manometric
11801
Clinical assessment of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease that involves 48-hour catheterfree wireless ambulatory oesophageal pH monitoring, including administration of the
device and associated endoscopy procedure for placement, analysis and interpretation of
the data and all attendances for providing the service, if:
(a) a catheter-based ambulatory oesophageal pH monitoring:
(i) has been attempted on the patient but failed due to clinical complications; or
(ii) is not clinically appropriate for the patient due to anatomical reasons
(nasopharyngeal anatomy) preventing the use of catheter-based pH monitoring;
and
(b) the service is performed by a specialist or consultant physician with endoscopic
training that is recognised by the Conjoint Committee for the Recognition of
Training in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (Anaes.)
11810
Clinical assessment of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease involving 24-hour pH monitoring,
including analysis, interpretation and report and including any associated consultation
11820
Capsule endoscopy to investigate an episode of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, using a
capsule endoscopy device (including administration of the capsule, associated endoscopy
procedure if required for placement, imaging, image reading and interpretation, and all
attendances for providing the service on the day the capsule is administered) if:
(a) the patient to whom the service is provided:
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
11823
(i) has recurrent or persistent bleeding; and
(ii) is anaemic or has active bleeding; and
an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and a colonoscopy have been performed on
the patient and have not identified the cause of the bleeding; and
the service has not been provided to the same patient on more than 2 occasions
in the preceding 12 months; and
the service is performed by a specialist or consultant physician with endoscopic
training that is recognised by the Conjoint Committee for the Recognition of
Training in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy; and
the service is not associated with balloon enteroscopy
Capsule endoscopy to conduct small bowel surveillance of a patient diagnosed with
Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome, using a capsule endoscopy device approved by the Therapeutic
Goods Administration (including administration of the capsule, imaging, image reading
and interpretation, and all attendances for providing the service on the day the capsule is
administered) if:
(a) the service is performed by a specialist or consultant physician with endoscopic
training that is recognised by the Conjoint Committee for the Recognition of
Training in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy; and
(b) the item is performed only once in any 2 year period; and
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Item
Description
(c) the service is not associated with balloon enteroscopy
11830
Diagnosis of abnormalities of the pelvic floor involving anal manometry or measurement
of anorectal sensation or measurement of the rectosphincteric reflex
Table A2: Group T1 - Miscellaneous Therapeutic Procedures: Subgroup 6 - Gastroenterology
Item
Description
13500
Removed in Round 1 - Gastric hypothermia by closed circuit circulation of refrigerant in the
absence of gastrointestinal haemorrhage
13503
Removed in Round 1 – Gastric hypothermia by closed circuit circulation of refrigerant in the
absence of gastrointestinal haemorrhage
Table A3: Group T8 — Surgical operations: Subgroup 1 - General
Item
Description
30473
Oesophagoscopy (other than a service to which item 41816 or 41822 applies), gastroscopy,
duodenoscopy or panendoscopy (one or more such procedures), with or without biopsy, other
than a service associated with a service to which item 30476 or 30478 applies (Anaes.)
30475
Endoscopy with balloon dilatation of gastric or gastroduodenal stricture (Anaes.)
30476
Oesophagoscopy (other than a service to which item 41816 or 41822 applies), gastroscopy,
duodenoscopy or panendoscopy (one or more such procedures), with endoscopic sclerosing
injection or banding of oesophageal or gastric varices, other than a service associated with a
service to which item 30473 or 30478 applies (Anaes.)
30478
Oesophagoscopy (other than a service to which item 41816, 41822 or 41825 applies), gastroscopy,
duodenoscopy or panendoscopy (one or more such procedures), with one or more of the
following endoscopic procedures—polypectomy, removal of foreign body, diathermy, heater
probe or laser coagulation, or sclerosing injection of bleeding upper gastrointestinal lesions, other
than a service associated with a service to which item 30473 or 30476 applies (Anaes.)
30479
Endoscopy with laser therapy or argon plasma coagulation, for the treatment of neoplasia, benign
vascular lesions, strictures of the gastrointestinal tract, tumorous overgrowth through or over
oesophageal stents, peptic ulcers, angiodysplasia, gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE) or postpolypectomy bleeding, one or more of (Anaes.)
30481
Percutaneous gastrostomy (initial procedure), including any associated imaging services (Anaes.)
30482
Percutaneous gastrostomy (repeat procedure), including any associated imaging services (Anaes.)
30483
Gastrostomy button, caecostomy antegrade enema device (chait etc.) or stomal indwelling device,
non-endoscopic insertion of, or non-endoscopic replacement of, on a person 10 years of age or
over (Anaes.)
30484
Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (Anaes.)
30485
Endoscopic sphincterotomy with or without extraction of stones from common bile duct (Anaes.)
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Item
Description
30487
Small bowel intubation with biopsy, as an independent procedure (Anaes.)
30488
Item referred to Diagnostic Imaging Clinical Committee
Small bowel intubation—as an independent procedure (Anaes.)
30490
Oesophageal prosthesis, insertion of, including endoscopy and dilatation (Anaes.)
30491
Bile duct, endoscopic stenting of (including endoscopy and dilatation) (Anaes.)
30492
Bile duct, percutaneous stenting of (including dilatation when performed), using interventional
imaging techniques (H) (Anaes.)
30493
Biliary manometry (Anaes.)
30494
Endoscopic biliary dilatation (H) (Anaes.)
30495
Item referred to Diagnostic Imaging Clinical Committee
∆
30680
Percutaneous biliary dilatation for biliary stricture using interventional imaging techniques
(H) (Anaes.)
Balloon enteroscopy, examination of the small bowel (oral approach), with or without biopsy,
without intraprocedural therapy, for diagnosis of patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding if
the patient:
(a) has recurrent or persistent bleeding; and
(b) is anaemic or has active bleeding; and
(c) has had an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and a colonoscopy performed that did not
identify the cause of the bleeding;
not in association with another item in this Subgroup (other than item 30682 or 30686) (Anaes.)
30682
Balloon enteroscopy, examination of the small bowel (anal approach), with or without biopsy,
without intraprocedural therapy, for diagnosis of patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding if
the patient:
(a) has recurrent or persistent bleeding; and
(b) is anaemic or has active bleeding; and
(c) has had an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and a colonoscopy performed that did not
identify the cause of the bleeding;
not in association with another item in this Subgroup (other than item 30680 or 30684) (Anaes.)
30684
Balloon enteroscopy, examination of the small bowel (oral approach), with or without biopsy, with
one or more of the following procedures—snare polypectomy, removal of foreign body,
diathermy, heater probe, laser coagulation or argon plasma coagulation, for diagnosis and
management of patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding if the patient:
(a) has recurrent or persistent bleeding; and
(b) is anaemic or has active bleeding; and
(c) has had an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and a colonoscopy performed that did not
identify the cause of the bleeding;
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Item
Description
not in association with another item in this Subgroup (other than item 30682 or 30686) (Anaes.)
30686
Balloon enteroscopy, examination of the small bowel (anal approach), with or without biopsy,
with one or more of the following procedures—snare polypectomy, removal of foreign body,
diathermy, heater probe, laser coagulation or argon plasma coagulation, for diagnosis and
management of patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding if the patient:
(a) has recurrent or persistent bleeding; and
(b) is anaemic or has active bleeding; and
(c) has had an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and a colonoscopy performed that did not
identify the cause of the bleeding;
not in association with another item in this Subgroup (other than item 30680 or 30684) (Anaes.)
30687
Endoscopy with radiofrequency ablation of mucosal metaplasia for the treatment of Barrett’s
Oesophagus in a single course of treatment, following diagnosis of high grade dysplasia confirmed
by histological examination (Anaes.)
30688
Endoscopic ultrasound (endoscopy with ultrasound imaging), with or without biopsy, for the
staging of one or more of oesophageal, gastric or pancreatic cancer, not in association with
another item in this Subgroup and other than a service associated with the routine monitoring of
chronic pancreatitis (Anaes.)
30690
Endoscopic ultrasound (endoscopy with ultrasound imaging), with or without biopsy, with fine
needle aspiration (including aspiration of the locoregional lymph nodes if performed, for the
staging of one or more of oesophageal, gastric or pancreatic cancer), not in association with
another item in this Subgroup and other than a service associated with the routine monitoring of
chronic pancreatitis (Anaes.)
30692
Endoscopic ultrasound (endoscopy with ultrasound imaging), with or without biopsy, for the
diagnosis of one or more of pancreatic, biliary or gastric submucosal tumours, not in association
with another item in this Subgroup and other than a service associated with the routine
monitoring of chronic pancreatitis (Anaes.)
30694
Endoscopic ultrasound (endoscopy with ultrasound imaging), with or without biopsy, with fine
needle aspiration for the diagnosis of one or more of pancreatic, biliary or gastric submucosal
tumours, not in association with another item in this Subgroup and other than a service associated
with the routine monitoring of chronic pancreatitis (Anaes.)
31456
Gastroscopy and insertion of nasogastric or nasoenteral feeding tube, if blind insertion of the
feeding tube has failed or is inappropriate due to the patient’s medical condition (H) (Anaes.)
31458
Gastroscopy and insertion of nasogastric or nasoenteral feeding tube if:
(a) blind insertion of the feeding tube has failed or is inappropriate due to the patient’s
medical condition; and
(b) the use of imaging intensification is clinically indicated
(H) (Anaes.)
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Table A4: Group T8 — Surgical operations: Subgroup 2 - Colorectal
Item
Description
32023
Endoscopic insertion of stent or stents for large bowel obstruction, stricture or stenosis, including
colonoscopy and any image intensification, where the obstruction is due to:
(a) a pre-diagnosed colorectal cancer, or cancer of an organ adjacent to the bowel; or
(b) an unknown diagnosis (H) (Anaes.)
32072
Sigmoidoscopic examination (with rigid sigmoidoscope), with or without biopsy
32075
Sigmoidoscopic examination (with rigid sigmoidoscope), under general anaesthesia, with or
without biopsy, other than a service associated with a service to which another item in this
Group applies (Anaes.)
32078
Removed in Round 1 – Sigmoidoscopic examination with diathermy or resection of one or more
polyps, if the time taken is less than or equal to 45 minutes (Anaes.)
32081
Removed in Round 1 – Sigmoidoscopic examination with diathermy or resection of one or more
polyps, if the time taken is greater than 45 minutes (Anaes.)
32084
Flexible fibreoptic sigmoidoscopy or fibreoptic colonoscopy up to the hepatic flexure, with or
without biopsy (Anaes.)
32087
Endoscopic examination of the colon up to the hepatic flexure by flexible fibreoptic
sigmoidoscopy or fibreoptic colonoscopy for the removal of one or more polyps or the treatment
of radiation proctitis, angiodysplasia or post-polypectomy bleeding by argon plasma coagulation,
one or more of (Anaes.)
32090
Fibreoptic colonoscopy—examination of colon beyond the hepatic flexure with or without biopsy
(Anaes.)
32093
Endoscopic examination of the colon beyond the hepatic flexure by fibreoptic colonoscopy for
the removal of one or more polyps, or the treatment of radiation proctitis, angiodysplasia or
post-polypectomy bleeding by argon plasma coagulation, one or more of (Anaes.)
32094
Endoscopic dilatation of colorectal strictures including colonoscopy (H) (Anaes.)
32095
Endoscopic examination of small bowel with flexible endoscope passed by stoma, with or
without biopsies (Anaes.)
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Table A5: Group T8 — Surgical operations: Subgroup 8 – Ears, Nose and Throat
Item
Description
41819
Dilatation of stricture of upper gastro-intestinal tract using bougie or balloon over endoscopically
inserted guidewire, including endoscopy with flexible or rigid endoscope (Anaes.)
41820
Dilatation of stricture of upper gastro-intestinal tract using bougie or balloon over endoscopically
inserted guidewire, including endoscopy with flexible or rigid endoscope, if the use of imaging
intensification is clinically indicated (Anaes.)
41828
Oesophageal stricture, dilatation of, without oesophagoscopy (Anaes.)
41831
Oesophagus, endoscopic pneumatic dilatation of (Anaes.) (Assist.)
41832
Oesophagus, balloon dilatation of, using interventional imaging techniques (Anaes.)
Items not requiring amendment
The Committee advises that 29 items do not require any amendment as these items support
clinically valuable services and no specific issues relating to their use have been identified. These
items have been grouped into broad categories in the following table. This means that items are not
necessarily ordered numerically.
In some cases the items specified as not requiring descriptor amendment may have a fee or coclaiming rules issue.
Table A6: Items related to Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
Procedure
Gastro-
Item
Item Descriptor
11800
OESOPHAGEAL MOTILITY TEST, manometric
$174.45
CLINICAL ASSESSMENT OF GASTROOESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE that involves
48 hour catheter-free wireless ambulatory
oesophageal pH monitoring including
administration of the device and associated
endoscopy procedure for placement, analysis
and interpretation of the data and all
attendances for providing the service, if
$263.00
oesophageal reflux 11801
disease
Service
change
2011–12 to
2014–15
Schedul Services
e Fee
2014–15
5,150
7%
0
n/a
(i) has been attempted on the
patient but failed due to clinical
complications, or
(ii)is not clinically appropriate for the
patient due to anatomical reasons
(nasopharyngeal anatomy) preventing
the use of catheter-based pH
monitoring; (a) a catheter-based
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Procedure
Item
Item Descriptor
Schedul Services
e Fee
2014–15
Service
change
2011–12 to
2014–15
ambulatory oesophageal pHmonitoring:
and
(b) the services is performed by a
specialist or consultant physician with
endoscopic training that is recognised
by the Conjoint Committee for the
Recognition of Training in
Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
Not in association with another item in
Category 2, sub-group 7 (Anaes.)
11810
CLINICAL ASSESSMENT of GASTROOESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE involving 24
hour pH monitoring, including analysis,
interpretation and report and including any
associated consultation
3,935
19%
Diagnosis of
abnormalities of
the pelvic floor
11830
DIAGNOSIS of ABNORMALITIES of the PELVIC
FLOOR involving anal manometry or
measurement of anorectal sensation or
measurement of the rectosphincteric reflex
$186.80
5,141
7%
Capsule
endoscopy
11823
Capsule endoscopy to conduct small bowel
surveillance of a patient diagnosed with
Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome, using a capsule
endoscopy device approved by the
Therapeutic Goods Administration (including
administration of the capsule, imaging, image
reading and interpretation, and all
attendances for providing the service on the
day the capsule is administered) if:
$2,039.2
0
62
59%
OESOPHAGEAL PROSTHESIS, insertion of,
including endoscopy and dilatation (Anaes.)
$526.40
529
0%
ENDOSCOPY with RADIOFREQUENCY
$476.10
247
n/a
$174.45
(a) the service is performed by a specialist or
consultant physician with endoscopic training
that is recognised by
the Conjoint Committee for the Recognition of
Training in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy; and
(b) the item is performed only once in any 2
year period; and
(c) the service is not associated with balloon
enteroscopy.
Oesophagoscopy 30490
and endoscopic
procedures on the 30687
Oesophagus
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Procedure
Item
Item Descriptor
Schedul Services
e Fee
2014–15
Service
change
2011–12 to
2014–15
ABLATION of mucosal metaplasia for the
treatment of Barrett's Oesophagus in a single
course of treatment, following diagnosis of
high grade dysplasia confirmed by histological
examination (Anaes.)
Dilatation of upper 41828
GI tract
Gastrostomy
$52.20
21
11%
41832
OESOPHAGUS, balloon dilatation of, using
interventional imaging techniques (Anaes.)
$228.50
114
46%
30481
PERCUTANEOUS GASTROSTOMY (initial
procedure), including any associated imaging
services (Anaes.)
$357.00
776
-4%
30482
PERCUTANEOUS GASTROSTOMY (repeat
procedure), including any associated imaging
services (Anaes.)
$253.85
587
27%
30483
GASTROSTOMY BUTTON, CAECOSTOMY
$177.05
ANTEGRADE ENEMA DEVICE (CHAIT etc) or
STOMAL INDWELLING DEVICE non-endoscopic
insertion of, or non-endoscopic replacement
of, on a person 10 years of age or over
(Anaes.)
483
-21%
Examinations and 30484
procedures on bile
ducts/Pancreas
30485
Insertion of
nasogastric tube
OESOPHAGEAL STRICTURE, dilatation of,
without oesophagoscopy (Anaes.)
ENDOSCOPIC RETROGRADE
CHOLANGIOPANCREATOGRAPHY (Anaes.)
$364.90
6,924
9%
ENDOSCOPIC SPHINCTEROTOMY with or
without extraction of stones from common
bile duct (Anaes.)
$563.30
4,918
8%
30491
BILE DUCT, ENDOSCOPIC STENTING OF
(including endoscopy and dilatation) (Anaes.)
$555.35
3,312
21%
30492
BILE DUCT, PERCUTANEOUS STENTING OF
(including dilatation when performed), using
interventional imaging techniques - but not
including imaging (Anaes.)
$787.30
220
12%
30494
ENDOSCOPIC BILIARY DILATATION (Anaes.)
$420.50
573
59%
30495
PERCUTANEOUS BILIARY DILATATION for
biliary stricture, using interventional imaging
techniques - but not including imaging
(Anaes.)
$787.30
73
20%
31456
GASTROSCOPY and insertion of nasogastric or
nasoenteral feeding tube, where blind
insertion of the feeding tube has failed or is
$245.55
412
110%
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Procedure
Item
Item Descriptor
Schedul Services
e Fee
2014–15
Service
change
2011–12 to
2014–15
inappropriate due to the patient's medical
condition (Anaes.)
31458
GASTROSCOPY and insertion of nasogastric or
nasoenteral feeding tube, where blind
insertion of the feeding tube has failed or is
inappropriate due to the patient's medical
condition, and where the use of imaging
intensification is clinically indicated (Anaes.)
$294.65
114
54%
Examination of the 32023
bowel –
colonoscopy and
sigmoidoscopy
Endoscopic insertion of stent or stents for
large bowel obstruction, stricture or stenosis,
including colonoscopy and any image
intensification, where the obstruction is due
to:
$555.35
70
n/a
a) a pre-diagnosed colorectal cancer, or
cancer of an organ adjacent to the bowel; or
b) an unknown diagnosis (Anaes.)
32072
SIGMOIDOSCOPIC EXAMINATION (with rigid
sigmoidoscope), with or without biopsy
$47.85
22,488
-20%
32075
SIGMOIDOSCOPIC EXAMINATION (with rigid
sigmoidoscope), UNDER GENERAL
ANAESTHESIA, with or without biopsy, not
being a service associated with a service to
which another item in this Group applies
(Anaes.)
$75.05
225
0.4%
32094
ENDOSCOPIC DILATATION OF COLORECTAL
STRICTURES including colonoscopy (Anaes.)
$551.85
768
4%
32095
ENDOSCOPIC EXAMINATION of SMALL BOWEL
with flexible endoscope passed by stoma,
with or without biopsies (Anaes.)
$127.80
272
9%
Source: Publicly available MBS Data (Department of Human Services website)
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Appendix B
Summary for Consumers
Gastroenterology Clinical Committee recommendations
This appendix describes the medical service, recommendations of the Clinical Experts and why the recommendation has been made.
Table B1: Recommendation – colonoscopy
Item
What it does
Committee Recommendation
What would be different
Why
32090 and 32093
1.
1.
1.
1.
A diagnostic procedure
Practitioners will be guided
To assist practitioner in
(32090) using an endoscope to
with approved clinical
by the item descriptors and
determining the circumstances
visually examine the colon
guidelines and algorithms
the approved clinical
when these services are
Restructure services to better
guidelines
clinical appropriate.
(with or without biopsy)
2.
Align MBS reimburse of items
2.
A therapeutic procedure
describe clinical indications
(32093) using an endoscope to
and intervals for repeat
conditions will be better
these service will be better
visually examine the colon to
testing
described and they will not
defined
Amend item to better define
undergo unnecessary
the extent of the examination
colonoscopy or too frequent
complete and comprehensive
‘to the caecum’
testing.
examination will be better
Patients will benefit from this
defined
provide treatments or to
3.
remove polyps
4.
5.
6.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Amend the existing NBCSP
2.
3.
Patient indications and
2.
3.
The clinical requirements for a
items to align the examination
quality measure which will
requirements ‘to the caecum’
require a more
complete and comprehensive
Remove out-of-date
comprehensive and
examination will be better
terminology ‘fibreoptic’ and
complete examination to be
defined for NBCSP patients
‘flexible’.
performed
Place restrictions on claiming
4.
4.
The clinical circumstances for
5.
The clinical requirements for a
The items should reflect
NBCSP patients will benefit
contemporary changes to
with other colonoscopy
from this quality measure
practices and procedures
services (same day, same
which will require a more
practitioner) during a single
comprehensive and
6.
Patients would effectively pay
twice for the same service if
Page 78
Item
What it does
Committee Recommendation
7.
What would be different
Why
episode of anaesthesia
complete examination to be
other colonoscopy services
Create a new item for the
performed.
were allowed to be billed
The updated wording will
together
treatment of conditions
5.
radiation proctitis,
reflect contemporary clinical
angiodysplasia or post-
practice.
treatments from the removal
These services will not able
of polyp/lesion will simplify the
remove restrictions on the
to be billed with other
intent of the item.
therapy APC for controlling
colonoscopy services on the
bleeding
same day, same patient and
polypectomy bleeding and
6.
7.
Separating the specified
practitioner unless under a
separate
sedation/anaesthesia.
7.
A new item for the treatment
of specified conditions will
simplify the items.
Table B2: Recommendation 2 – same day upper and lower gastrointestinal services endoscopy
Item
What it does
Committee Recommendation
What would be different
Why
30473, 32090, 32093
Endoscopic examination of the
The Gastroenterological Society of
Only clinically relevant services
To assist practitioner in
upper and lower gastrointestinal
Australia to consider the
will be provided.
determining the clinical
tract during the same episode of
development of clinical practice
circumstances when both services
care
guidelines on when it is
are appropriate.
appropriate for both services to be
performed
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Table B3: Recommendation 3.1 – Capsule Endoscopy item amendments and Recommendation 3.2 – Capsule Endoscopy fee review
Item
What it does
Committee Recommendation
What would be different
Why
11820
Capsule endoscopy (CE) is used to
1.
1.
1.
Amend the item to better
The item will better target
Iron deficiency anaemia
diagnose obscure gastrointestinal
define the clinical conditions
patients whose indications
(rather than just anaemia)
bleeding. CE is a way to record
and indications for the service
and conditions require this
better describes blood loss
images of the digestive tract for
to ensure the intended patient
service.
symptoms. Investigations for
use in medicine. The capsule is the
group receives this service
Practitioners will be aware of
possible causes should be
Storage requirements for CE
storage requirements for
undertake and eliminated
contains a miniature camera which
imaging to be provided in the
imaging.
prior to performing CE.
the patient swallows and images
explanatory notes to the item
size and shape of a pill and
are taken of the gastrointestinal
tract
2.
3.
A fee review by MSAC
2.
3.
A fee review will determine if
2.
Advice on storage
the item is appropriately
requirements will support
priced
good record keeping for
auditing purposes and
continuity of care for patients.
3.
It is important that the fee
represents value for money for
the patient and is not driving
service volumes.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 80
Table B4: Recommendation 4.1 – Endoscopic upper gastrointestinal services and Recommendation 4.2 – Push Enteroscopy
Item
What it does
Committee Recommendation
What would be different
Why
30473
A diagnostic procedure that uses a
Stop the billing of this item with
This service will not be able to be
Where endoscope is required as
digital scope to visually examine
item 30479
claimed with another item that
part of a therapeutic procedure,
provides the same endoscopic
item 30473 should not be co-
procedure when performed as
claimed. Patient may pay twice for
part of a therapeutic service.
the same service if these services
the gastrointestinal tract
were not restricted.
30476
A procedure that uses a digital
Consolidate this service with item
These services will be combined
Consolidate services to simplify the
scope to visually examine the
30478
with item 30478 to create one
item structure for upper
general upper interventional item
gastrointestinal endoscopy services
gastrointestinal tract and provide
treatment
and minimise confusion about
which items should be billed by the
practitioner
30478
A procedure that uses a digital
1.
Consolidate this service with
1.
The consolidation of items
1.
Need to simplify the item
scope to visually examine the
item 30476 to form a general
30476 and 30478 will
gastrointestinal tract and provide
therapeutic service (without
combine pathologies and
minimise confusion about
treatment
laser therapy).
treatments previously listed
which items should be billed
Argon Plasma Coagulation
under item 30476. This
by the practitioner
(APC) a procedure to control
change will not alter the fee
bleeding in the
or the intent of this item.
provided under item 30478
The use of APC under this
(lower fee than item 30479) as
be moved from item 30479
item will benefit patients as
it no more time consuming of
into this item.
the fee will be lower than
the skills required than other
The Committee recommends
currently under item 30479.
forms of non -laser endoscopic
The addition of Push
interventions.
2.
gastrointestinal tract should
3.
Push Enteroscopy (a digital
scope to examine the small
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
2.
3.
Enteroscopy will allow the
2.
3.
structure these services and
APC is more appropriately
Push Enteroscopy is an upper
Page 81
Item
What it does
Committee Recommendation
Why
bowel) currently performed
removal of lesions in the
gastrointestinal examination
under item 30487 for small
small bowel under this item
or procedure and it is
This service will not be able
appropriate for this service to
included in this item
to be claimed with item
be provided under this item
Stop billing of this item with
30479.
30478.
bowel intubation to be
4.
What would be different
4.
item 30479
4.
The patient could effectively
pay twice for the same service
if both 30478 and 30479 items
were able to be billed together
30479
A procedure that uses a digital
1.
Remove APC from this item
scope to visually examine the
and add it to the general
gastrointestinal tract and provide
therapeutic item 30478.
laser therapy to treat specified
pathologies
2.
Stop billing of this item with
item 30473 and 30478
1.
2.
APC will not be provided in
1.
APC is more appropriately
this item.
provided under item 30478 as
This service cannot be
it no more time consuming of
claimed with item 30478
the skills required than other
forms of non-laser endoscopic
interventions
2. Patients could effectively pay
twice for the same service if
both 30478 and 30479 were
allowed to be billed together.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Table B5: Recommendation 5 – Endoscopic upper gastrointestinal stricture services
Item
What it does
Committee Recommendation
What would be different
Why
30475, 41819 and
A group of procedures that use a
Consolidation of these services to
Services will be provided under a
Need to simplify the item structure
41820
digital scope and balloon to open
allow any endoscopic technique to
single item and patients will all
for these services and to minimise
up restrictions in the upper
be performed for the throat
receive the same rebate.
confusion about which items
gastrointestinal tract
through to the stomach and
should be billed by the practitioner.
duodenum under item 30475The
Patient rebates for these services
fee should be the fee for item
should be the same.
41819 which is higher than 30475
but lower than 41820
41831
Procedure that uses air or gas
Amend item to indicate that the
The item will better target
The clinical circumstances for this
under pressure in a balloon that
service is specific to the treatment
patients whose indications and
service will be better defined.
relieves the lower oesophageal
of achalasia ( a type of narrowing)
conditions require this service
muscle tension
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Table B6: Recommendation 6 – Sigmoidoscopy/Colonoscopy
Item
What it does
Committee Recommendation
What would be different
Why
32084
A diagnostic procedure using digital
1.
1.
1.
Amend item to better define
Patients will benefit from this
To better define the clinical
scope to visually examine the colon
the extent of the examination
quality measure which will
requirements for a complete
and can include biopsy
which ‘has not reach the
require a more
and comprehensive
caecum’ and remove out-of-
comprehensive and
examination
date terminology.
complete examination to be
2.
2.
Patients could effectively pay
performed.
twice for the same service if
These services will not able
other colonoscopy services
during the same episode of
to be billed with other
were allowed to be billed
sedation/anaesthesia
colonoscopy services on the
together
Stop the billing of more than
one colonoscopy service
2.
same day, same patient and
practitioner unless under a
separate
sedation/anaesthesia.
32087
A therapeutic procedure using a
1.
Amend item to better define
1.
Patients will benefit from this
1.
The clinical requirements for a
digital scope to visually examine
the extent of the examination
quality measure which will
complete and comprehensive
the colon and to provide treatment
which ‘has not reach the
require a more
examination will be better
or remove polyps (small clump of
caecum’ (a pouch that marks
comprehensive and
defined.
cells that forms on the lining of the
the beginning of the large
complete examination to be
colon)
intestine) and remove out-of-
performed.
and other therapies should be
Practitioners will benefit with
available.
date terminology ‘.
2.
3.
2.
3.
Use of APC is too restrictive
Remove restrictive
the removal of APC as they
requirements that only APC
will be able to select a
twice for the same service if
can be used to control
therapy that best suits the
other colonoscopy services
bleeding.
clinical indications of the
were allowed to be billed
Stop the billing of more than
patient.
together
3.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
2.
Patients could effectively pay
These services will not be
Page 84
Item
What it does
Committee Recommendation
What would be different
one colonoscopy service same
able to be billed with other
patient, same practitioner
colonoscopy services on the
during the same episode of
same day, same patient and
sedation/anaesthesia
practitioner unless under a
Why
separate
sedation/anaesthesia.
Table B7: Recommendation 7 – Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
Item
What it does
Committee Recommendation
What would be different
Why
30688 to 30694
A group of diagnostic services that
Removal of current claiming
A patient having EUS staging for
The current claiming restrictions on
use endoscopic ultrasound to
restrictions on these services to
cancer will be able to a have
EUS items means that patients,
assess the spread of cancer
allow other specified therapeutic
certain other procedure
who requires therapeutic services
procedures to be provided.
performed at the same time,
identified by the EUS, are required
such as bile duct stenting if this is
to undergo a second sedation on
clinically indicated. Patients will
another day to receive these
benefit as this will eliminate the
services.
need for a second anaesthesia on
another day.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Table B8: Recommendation 8 – Balloon Enteroscopy
Item
What it does
Committee Recommendation
What would be different
Why
30680 to 30686
A group of diagnostic procedures
An assessment by the Medical
The service will better target
Currently the items are restricted
used to assess the spread of cancer
Services Advisory
patients whose indications and
to patients who present with
Committee(MSAC) to expand the
conditions require these services.
bleeding and anaemia. This
conditions for these items to
These patients will benefit as
significantly restricts the
manage small bowel disease
they will not be exposed to
management of patients with small
without anaemia or bleeding
unnecessary other tests and
bowel disease without these
procedures, including surgery, to
symptoms.
manage their condition
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Table B9: Recommendation 9: Endoscopic Mucosal Resection
Item
What it does
Committee Recommendation
What would be different
Why
New item
A procedure to remove very large
An assessment by MSAC to
Patients would not require
EMR has widespread use in public
polyps by using an internal digital
consider public funding for this
surgery to remove these polyps
hospitals but currently under the
scope
service. The Gastroenterological
which would be safer for the
MBS the only approach for the
Society of Australia to submit an
patient
removal of very large polyps is
application and request an
surgery.
expedited assessment by MSAC
Table B10: Recommendation 10.2: Obsolete items – second round
Item
What it does
Committee Recommendation
What would be different
Why
30487
Diagnostic procedure performed
To remove item 30487 from the
The service will no longer attract
This item has been used for push
on the small bowel
MBS if Push Enteroscopy service is
a MBS rebate
enteroscopy services but if push
moved to the upper GI endoscopy
enteroscopy is moved under the
item 30478
more appropriate upper GI
endoscopic interventional items
then item 30487 has no clinical
purpose in contemporary practice.
30493
Diagnostic test that measures the
To remove item 30493 from the
The service will no longer attract
The service is not supported by the
pressure of the sphincter (a ring-
MBS
a MBS rebate
published literature and has no
shaped muscle that regulates the
place in contemporary clinical
flow of bile and pancreatic
practice.
secretions
Note: Items 13500, 13503, 32078 and 32081 were removed from the MBS on 1 July 2016
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 87
Appendix C
Rapid Review Report on Capsule Endoscopy
Capsule Endoscopy in the Investigation of OGIB – Updated evidence from 2008
onwards
Introduction
Video capsule endoscopy (VCE) was developed in 2000, and approved by the FDA for clinical use in
2001.(1) Since then, it has been increasingly utilized in the diagnosis of small bowel pathology,
particularly obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB). Its utility has been attributed to its efficacy in
terms of diagnostic yield, safety profile and patient tolerance. CE has also been shown to be well
tolerated in the paediatric population, with a study by Dupont-Lucas et al(2) demonstrating higher
diagnostic yield for polyposis syndromes (62 per cent), unresponsive Crohns disease (88 per cent),
and graft-versus-host disease (88 per cent). CE is said to have a positive impact on patient
management and outcomes, however the data is inconsistent, with variability in use of outcome
variables and definitions. Mylonaki et al(3), in a study comparing CE to PE, found the former to not
only detect more lesions, but to alter management in 71 per cent of subjects. Sidhu et al(4) by
comparison, in a study focusing on CE, found an overall diagnostic yield to be 39 per cent (66 per
cent in overt bleeding) with alteration in management in 26 per cent of patients.
There is insufficient data from which to estimate incidence of OGIB in the Australian population.
International literature estimates the incidence of acute gastrointestinal bleeding in the US to be
between 40 and 150 episodes per 100,000 persons with a mortality rate of 4–10 per cent.(5) Chronic
occult gastrointestinal bleeding tends to occur in the setting of positive FOBT or iron deficiency
anaemia. In the US, about 5 per cent of adult women and 2 per cent of adult men have iron
deficiency anaemia.
(5)
Various health information sites(6) in Australia have specified a similar
incidence range (50 – 150 per 100,000) for gastrointestinal haemorrhage, however it is unclear
where these figures are derived from.
Diagnostic yield of capsule endoscopy
There are numerous studies evaluating diagnostic yield of CE, either alone or in comparison with
other modalities. Table 1 is a summary of the main relevant studies since 2008.
Table C1: Studies 2008 onwards relating to diagnostic yield of capsule endoscopy
Study
Design
Pandey et al
Prospective single
(7)
2016 ,
centre
Mumbai
observational
Subjects
∆
68 pts
∆
16-77 yo
∆
OGIB
Diagnostic Yield
Complications
∆
Positive – 65%
Capsule
∆
Equivocal –
retention -
17.65%
2.94%
∆
Negative –
17.65%
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 88
Study
Segarajasinga
m et al 2015(8)
Aniwan et al
Design
∆
RCT
∆
VCE vs PE
DBE vs VCE
Subjects
79 pts (40 VCE 39 PE)
30 pts; massive OGIB
(9)
2014
He et al
(10)
2014
Katsinelos et al
(11)
Randomized,
127 pts with OGIB
single blinded,
including overt and
MSCT vs CE
obscure
Prospective
2014
multicenter
Khan et al
Retrospective
2013(12)
Leung et al
(13)
2012
Prospective
Diagnostic Yield
∆
VCE – 72.5%
∆
PE – 48.7%
∆
DBE – 87%
∆
VCE 60%
∆
MSCT – 47.56%
∆
CE – 68.66%
Complications
Not specified
Not specified
Capsule
retention 1.47%
CE 66.9%
Not specified
122 pts 70% with
Overall diagnostic
Not specified
obscure GI bleeding
yield 52%
∆
118 pts
∆
median age 66
60 pts with OGIB
randomized
∆
CE – 53.3%
∆
Angio - 20%
Not specified
CE vs angiography
Shishido et al
Prospective
118 pts with OGIB
CE - 44.9%
2012
CE vs DBE
(mean age 62.9 +/- 18.4)
DBE – 53.4%
Lecleire et al
Retrospective
5744 pts with severe
CE – 67%
Not specified
CE - 57%
Not specified
CE – 47.5%
1 case capsule
No difference
retention
(14)
(15)
2012
Not specified
OGIB who underwent
emergency CE in 24-48
hrs following negative
upper and lower
endoscopy
Heo et al
Retrospective
(16)
2012
30 pts with OGIB
receiving CE after
negative CT
enterography
Cuyle et al (17)
Retrospective
120 pts with OGIB
between overt and
occult group
Presence of CVS
comorbidity was assoc
with statistically
significant increase in
diagnostic yield
Calabrese et al
Retrospective
346 pts with OGIB
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
CE - 59.5%
Capsule
Page 89
Study
Design
(18)
2013
review
Goenka et al
Retrospective
(19)
2011
Subjects
Diagnostic Yield
Complications
retention – 1.4%
385 pts with OGIB
review
CE – 74% some lesion
Not specified
detected
58% definitive cause
of OGIB detected
Qureshi et al
Prospective
2010(20)
descriptive
Katsinelos et al
Prospective
28 pts with OGIB
CE – 64.28%
Capsule
retention – 7.1%
63 pts with OGIB
(21)
2011
CE - 44.44%
Not specified
(60% in overt bleeders
vs 34.21% in occult)
Teshima et al
Meta-analysis
10 eligible studies
(22)
2011
Pooled diagnostic
Not specified
yield CE - 62%
DBE – 56%
DY of DBE after
positive CE – 75%
Van Turenhout
Retrospective
240 pts with GI bleeding
et al 2010
review
or IDA
Sidhu et al
Retrospective
427 pts
(23)
(24)
2009
CE - 49%
Not specified
Diagnostic yield 50%
Not specified
with change in
management in 30%
Kameda et al
(25)
2008
Prospective, single
32 pts with obscure GI
CE – 71.9%
blind, CE vs DBE
bleeding
DBE – 65.6%
Not specified
Difference in
diagnostic yield not
significant
Pasha et al
Meta-analysis
(26)
2008
11 studies comparing
DBE and CE have
DBE and CE
comparable diagnostic
Not specified
yield in small bowel
disease including OGIB
Factors affecting diagnostic yield of CE
The yield of CE may be affected by multiple factors, including poor visualization of the mucosa, and
the rate of gastric emptying and small bowel transit, which could result in exhaustion of capsule
batteries prior to reaching the ileo-caecal valve.(27) Such incomplete examination occurs in 10 – 25
per cent of cases. Diagnostic yield is improved in overt bleeding(28), patients with haemoglobin < 10
g/dL, longer duration of bleeding (>6 months) and more than one episode of bleeding.(29) It has also
been shown that earlier timing of CE, particularly within 48 hours of overt bleeding, has the greatest
potential for lesion detection.
(19, 21, 30)
Sidhu et al found that increasing age, anti-coagulation and
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 90
liver co-morbidity were significant predictors of a positive diagnostic yield, whilst the presence of comorbidity or diagnosis of angiodysplasia could predict a change in management. (24)
Recent guidelines
ESGE Clinical Guideline (31)
The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) recommends video capsule endoscopy
as a first line investigation in patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding. The recommendation
in patients with overt obscure GI bleeding is to perform the capsule endoscopy as soon as
practicable after the bleeding episode, preferably within 14 days. In those with positive findings on
capsule endoscopy, ESGE recommends device-assisted enteroscopy to confirm and potentially treat
lesions. Figure 1 below is a flow chart taken from ESGE guidelines, which summarises
recommendations in the investigation of OGIB.(31)
Figure 1:
Recommended approaches for diagnosis and treatment of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding
ACG Guidelines(32)
The American College of Gastroenterology recommends that:


VCE should be considered first line procedure for small bowel evaluation after upper and
lower GI sources have been excluded, including second look endoscopy when indicated
VCE should be performed before deep enteroscopy to improve diagnostic yield
Figure 2 below is the ACG algorithm for suspected small bowel bleeding.(32)
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 91
Figure 2: ACG algorithm for suspected small bowel bleeding (32)
British Society of Gastroenterology Guidelines (27)
BSG indications for capsule endoscopy:




OGIB
Small bowel Crohn’s disease
Assessment of coeliac disease
Screening and surveillance for polyps in FAP
BSG recommendations relating to CE use in OGIB:





Patients presenting with OGIB with negative gastroscopy and colonoscopy should undergo
CE where there are no contraindications
If high suspicion of bleeding from upper GI source, a second look endoscopy should take
place prior to CE
Patients with pathology/ sites of bleeding identified on CE should subsequently undergo
either PE or DBE depending on location
In patients with a negative CE and persistent OGIB, a second look CE may be considered. If
this is negative they should be referred for DBE
Where patient has obstructive symptoms, an alternative imaging modality should be
considered prior to CE
Cost effectiveness
Given the timeframe and lack of Australian data, it was not possible to perform a cost-effectiveness
analysis for the use of capsule endoscopy in the investigation of OGIB. Studies from overseas
highlight the potential reduction in costs from use of CE, particularly when performed in settings
with a large patient base and procedure numbers.(1) Whilst CE has definite advantages in terms of
diagnostic yield, safety and ability to be performed in an outpatient setting, which may result in cost
savings, it also has limitations in the lack of biopsy and therapeutic potential as well as the potential
for technical barriers such as insufficient power and poor visualization.(1)
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 92
A cost-effectiveness analysis conducted by Gerson et al
(33)
in the US setting, compared CE (and 4
other modalities) to no therapy in management of OGIB. They found that initial DBE was the most
cost effective approach, with other modalities being less effective and more expensive (with the
exception of push enteroscopy which was less costly).(33)
The UK based BSG guidelines, suggest that in addition to its utility in the diagnostic pathway, CE is a
cost-effective approach in its prevention of unnecessary cycles of investigations in patients. (27)
Broadly speaking, in Australia, when considering the cost-effectiveness of CE, factors one would take
into account would include the underlying pathology and natural history of disease, the rate of
complications such as capsule retention and subsequent management costs, and the infrastructure
and time considerations involved.
Discussion
CE is recognized as having an established role in the assessment of patients with OGIB who have had
negative gastroscopy and colonoscopy.(27) Studies have shown CE to have superior diagnostic yield
compared with push enteroscopy in this population, with a meta-analysis by Triester et al reporting
yields of 63 per cent versus 28 per cent from PE.(34) Diagnostic yield in CE has also been shown to be
superior than barium follow-through and CT enteroclysis in OGIB patients.(35) Comparisons to DBE
have been more inconsistent, with a meta-analysis by Pasha et al(26) finding DBE and CE to have
comparable yields in diagnosis of small bowel disease (including OGIB).
It must be noted that whilst the evidence base for the diagnostic efficacy of CE is increasing, there is
a lack of high-level studies, the majority being retrospective analyses with small sample sizes. There
is also quite significant variability in diagnostic accuracy amongst studies, and no reference standard
to which its diagnostic accuracy may be compared.(36) Intraoperative enteroscopy has been
previously expounded as the ideal standard, however due to significant associated morbidity and
mortality, it cannot be routinely recommended for diagnostic purposes in OGIB.(31) One of the few
studies comparing CE to intraoperative enteroscopy (Hartmann et al(37)), found CE to have a
sensitivity of 95 per cent and a specificity of 75 per cent. In terms of distinguishing between occult
and overt sub-types of OGIB, there is insufficient data available, resulting in the reporting of
diagnostic yield as an overall value. (31)
Whilst it is apparent that usage of CE in investigation of OGIB has increased dramatically over the
past decade, the precise reasons for this are not clear. Presumably, contributing factors would
include the increasing evidence base as to diagnostic yield and subsequent change in guidelines
recommending CE as first-line (after negative upper and lower endoscopies) in investigation of OGIB.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 93
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of videocapsule endoscopy for obscure gastrointestinal bleeding in 120 consecutive patients. Acta
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Sidhu R, Sanders D, Kapur K, Leeds J, McAlindon M. Factors predicting the diagnostic yield and
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Kameda N, Higuchi K, Shiba M, Machida H, Okazaki H, Yamagami H, et al. A prospective, single-blind
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Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
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Appendix D
Rapid Review Report on Push Enteroscopy
Push Enteroscopy – Summary of evidence
Summary






Push enteroscopy (PE) allows limited evaluation of the small bowel, particularly the proximal
jejunum.
Its main indication for use has been in the investigation of gastrointestinal bleeding where
the source was unable to be identified on gastroscopy or colonoscopy, or where a proximal
lesion is suspected.
Reported diagnostic yields of PE varies between 3 and 70%
Push enteroscopy has been found to be safe and well tolerated with positive results in terms
of patient management and outcomes
Advantages of PE include its potential use in both diagnosis and therapy, reduction in patient
discomfort and required sedation (compared with other deep enteroscopic procedures), and
the potential reduction in health care costs.
Disadvantages include its poor sensitivity (compared with other investigations), relative
patient discomfort and potential for complications (compared with capsule endoscopy)
Introduction
Push enteroscopy (PE) is an extended upper endoscopy, performed with a specially designed
enteroscope (with or without an overtube) or a colonoscope (without an overtube).(1) It enables a
limited evaluation of the small bowel, approximately 50-100 cm distal to the ligament of Treitz,(2) but
permits tissue sampling and endoscopic treatments of the proximal jejunum.(3) The use of an
overtube may allow for deeper small bowel intubation up to 150 cm, however its use does not
appear to result in any improvement in diagnostic yield, (1) and can be associated with complications
such as pharyngeal and Mallory-Weiss tears, gastric mucosal avulsion and acute pancreatitis due to
papillary trauma.(4)
Push enteroscopy has been utilized in the investigation of occult GI bleeding, abnormal radiographic
findings, chronic diarrhoea and malabsorption, as well as in screening of polyposis, staging of
inflammatory bowel disease and in non-specific chronic abdominal pain.
(5)
Its main indication,
however, remains in the investigation of gastrointestinal bleeding, the cause of which has not been
identified on endoscopy or colonoscopy(6).
The preponderance of evidence relating to the efficacy of push enteroscopy uses capsule endoscopy
as the main comparator and OGIB as the main indication for investigation. There is limited discussion
as to its therapeutic utility, except to note the potential for thermocoagulation or administration of
other treatment where suspected lesions have been identified.
Diagnostic Yield
A 2005 meta-analysis compared diagnostic yield of capsule endoscopy to push enteroscopy amongst
other modalities.(7) The diagnostic yield was found to be 56 per cent and 26 per cent respectively for
clinically significant findings.(7) Yield for vascular lesions was 36 per cent for capsule endoscopy
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 96
versus 20 per cent for push enteroscopy and for inflammatory lesions, 11 per cent and 2 per cent
respectively. There was no significant difference between the two procedures in terms of yield for
tumours.(7)
De Leusse et al conducted a randomized prospective controlled trial in 2007(8), where patients with
obscure gastrointestinal bleeding were randomly allocated to either capsule endoscopy (CE) or push
enteroscopy (PE) as first line investigation. A definitive source of bleeding was identified in 50% of
those undertaking CE first and 24 per cent of those utilising PE as first line investigation. PE missed
significantly more lesions than CE (26 per cent vs 8 per cent), though the two strategies (CE then PE
or vice versa) were not significantly different in terms of diagnostic yield (58 per cent and 50 per
cent respectively). The higher sensitivity of CE in detection of lesions causing OGIB, led to the
conclusion that CE rather than PE was the appropriate first line investigation, particularly when
considering patient discomfort and potential health care costs.(8)
An Australian study, undertaken at The Royal Adelaide Hospital utilized push enteroscopy in the
evaluation of 55 patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding where prior gastroscopy and/or
colonoscopy had not determined a cause.(4) Diagnostic yield of push enteroscopy in this study was 69
per cent, 40 per cent of which were lesions within the reach of standard endoscopy.(4) Push
enteroscopy was found to have altered management in 75 per cent of patients, with two thirds of
patients having a positive outcome on long term follow up, in terms of reduction in bleeding,
transfusion requirements and resolution of anaemia.(4)
As indicated above, the diagnostic yield of PE varies considerably between studies and has been
reported as anywhere between 3 and 70%.(1) This variation may be attributable to differences in
indication for investigation, location and type of lesion, and factors relating to study methodology.
Therapeutic utility
One proposed advantage of push enteroscopy is that it may be used for both diagnostic and
therapeutic purposes. Therapeutic indications for PE include placement of jejunal feeding tubes,
polypectomy and thermocoagulation of angiodysplastic lesions.
(9)
Unfortunately, high-level
evidence is lacking in terms of assessing the therapeutic efficacy of push enteroscopy particularly in
comparison to other endoscopic therapies.
A 2015 systematic review by Romagnuolo et al(10) summarized the evidence relating to re-bleeding
rates following therapeutic endoscopy (including push enteroscopy). The authors reported 6 studies
involving PE, with highly variable rates of re-bleeding, ranging from 0 – 66 per cent.(10) The studies
had differing (or inadequate) definitions of re-bleeding, with a variable case-mix. The authors
suggested that the assessment of therapeutic efficacy by reference to re-bleeding rates is
misleading, given variability of lesions and therefore response to intervention.
(10)
They found
insufficient data to support a reduction in re-bleeding rate from therapeutic endoscopy, and
surmised that even if there were such reduction, the NNT would be significant.(10)
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 97
Clinical Guidelines
I was unable to locate any official Australian guidelines regarding the use of push enteroscopy,
although the literature suggests that push enteroscopy (or other deep enteroscopy) only be
considered when upper endoscopy, colonoscopy and capsule endoscopy have failed to identify a
source of bleeding.(11)
European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) Clinical Guideline (3)






Obscure Gastrointestinal Bleeding (OGIB)- ESGE recommends against the use of push
enteroscopy as first line in the investigation of obscure GI bleeding, due to low diagnostic
yield compared with capsule endoscopy.
The diagnostic yield of PE and device-assisted enteroscopy appear to be comparable when
only considering proximal small bowel lesions (whilst in a comparison of overall diagnostic
yield, device-assisted enteroscopy has been found to be superior). PE is however, less
challenging in terms of requirements for sedation, examination and x-ray exposure.
Although studies have evaluated the diagnostic yield of PE, capsule endoscopy and other
investigations, there is insufficient evidence as to their impact on clinical outcomes including
cessation of bleeding, resolution of anaemia, mortality, number of endoscopic procedures,
hospitalization rate and blood transfusions.
Iron deficiency Anaemia (IDA) – There is an absence of high level evidence evaluating the
diagnostic yield of PE specifically in IDA, however, given the numbers of IDA patients
included in studies focusing on OGIB, the authors have concluded the yield to be comparable
(between 30 per cent and 70 per cent).
Crohns disease – PE may provide direct endoscopic assessment and biopsies for
histopathology, particularly where prior investigations have suggested a lesion in the
proximal bowel
Small bowel tumours – data is usually derived from larger series, and have shown no
significant differences in diagnostic yield between PE and VCE. PE could therefore be useful
in work up of small bowel tumours located in the proximal jejunum.
UK guidelines
The British Society of Gastroenterology developed guidelines(6) on small bowel enteroscopy and
capsule endoscopy that outlined the following indications for use of push enteroscopy:
a) Diagnostic




obscure gastrointestinal bleeding
o where initial gastroscopy and colonoscopy have failed to detect the source of
bleeding
malabsorption and unexplained diarrhoea
o Consider PE to obtain jejunal biopsies in patients suspected of malabsorption with
positive anti-endomysial antibody and non-diagnostic duodenal biopsies.
exploration of radiographic abnormalities of the proximal small bowel
o PE is useful in investigation of proximal small bowel abnormalities detected by
radiology
Investigation of small bowel tumours
o PE offers the opportunity of taking biopsies when lesion has been identified (as long
as lesion is within reach of enteroscope)
b) Therapeutic
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 98





Thermocoagulation of bleeding lesions
o PE may be used in thermocoagulation of angioectasias (most common cause of
bleeding in patients over 50)
Placement of jejunostomy tubes
o PE is method of choice for endoscopically placed feeding jejunostomy
Stricture dilatation(12)
Polypectomy(12)
ERCP following Rouxen-Y reconstruction(12)
c) Surveillance

Polyposis syndromes
o PE may be used in endoscopic screening of FAP patients to identify high risk
individuals.
ACG Clinical Guideline: Diagnosis and Management of Small Bowel Bleeding(1)



VCE should be first line procedure for small bowel investigation
PE can be performed as a second look examination in evaluation of suspected small bowel
bleeding
Due to lower detection rate of lesions in duodenum and proximal jejunum, PE should be
performed if proximal lesions suspected
Conclusion
From the available evidence, it appears that whilst push enteroscopy may have a place in the
diagnosis and possible treatment of lesions in the proximal small bowel, it is by no means the
suggested first line procedure in the investigation of OGIB or other small bowel pathology. It may
have a place in confirming diagnosis of lesions in the proximal small bowel, with some potential
therapeutic applications, and may be useful where capsule endoscopy is impractical or unavailable.
The general consensus in the literature seems to be that its use be at the discretion of the treating
team having taken into account relevant patient, diagnostic and practical considerations.
Preliminary Report from the Gastroenterology Clinical Committee – August 2016
Page 99
References
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Gerson L, Fidler J, Cave D, Leighton J. ACG Clinical Guideline: Diagnosis and Management of Small Bowel
Bleeding American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2015;110:1265-87.
Pasha S, Hara A, Leighton J. Diagnostic Evaluation and Management of Obscure Gastrointestinal
Bleeding: A Changing Paradigm. Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2009;5(12):839 - 50.
Pennazio M, Spada C, Eliakim R, Keuchel M, May A, Mulder C, et al. Small-bowel capsule endoscopy and
device-assisted enteroscopy for the diagnosis and treatment of small-bowel disorders : Clinical
Guideline Endoscopy 2015;47:352-76.
Nguyen N, Rayner C, Schoeman M. Push enteroscopy alters management in a majority of patients with
obscure gastrointestinal bleeding. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2005;20:716-21.
Rodriguez B, Moyano C, Castro R, Alvarez A, Hernandez M, Delgado D, et al. Diagnostic yield of 335 push
video-enteroscopies Revista Espanola de Enfermedades Digestivas (Madrid). 2006;98(2):82-92.
Sidhu R, Sanders D, Morris A, McAlindon M. Guidelines on small bowel enteroscopy and capsule
endoscopy in adults Gut. 2008;57:125-36.
Triester S, Leighton J, Grigoris L, Fleischer D, Hara A, Heigh R, et al. A Meta-Analysis of the Yield of
Capsule Endoscopy Compared to Other Diagnostic Modalities in Patients with Obscure Gastrointestinal
Bleeding. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2005;100:2407-18
De Leusse A, Vahedi K, Edery J, Tiah D, Fery-Lemonnier E, Cellier C, et al. Capsule Endoscopy or Push
Enteroscopy for First-Line Exploration of Obscure Gastrointestinal Bleeding. Gastroenterology
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Davies G, Benson M, Gertner D, Van Someren R, Rampton D, Swain C. Diagnostic and therapeutic push
type enteroscopy in clinical use Gut. 1995;37:346-52.
Romagnuolo J, Brock A, Ranney N. Is Endoscopic Therapy Effective for Angioectasia in Obscure
Gastrointestinal Bleeding? A Systematic Review of the Literature Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology
2015;49(10):823-30.
Kim B, Li B, Enfel A, Samra J, Clarke S, Norton I, et al. Diagnosis of gastrointestinal bleedingL A practical
guide for clinicians World Journal of Gastrontestinal Pathophysiology. 2014;5(4):467-78.
O'Mahony S, Morris A, Straiton M, Murray L, MacKenzie J. Push enteroscopy in the investigation of
small-intestinal disease. Q J Med 1996;89:685-90.
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